Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Skype translator opens up new possibilites

I would not like to rely on this technology alone, especially for important or critical messages, but it certainly opens up a lot of possibilities for learning and practising languages.

See demo at

Friday, July 25, 2014

Indonesian Language classes in Canberra

Weekly classes for adults 7pm to 9pm in a residence with classrooms in O’Malley at the following levels:
  • Advanced
  • Intermediate
  • Continuing Beginners
  • Beginners from Novice to level 3.
Taught by trained teachers who are native speakers

For more information contact Phil Domaschenz at (or Jenny at if before 4 August) or telephone 6288 8640

Monday, July 21, 2014

Four languages curricula made available in the Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has today made available Australian Curriculum for four languages: Chinese, French, Indonesian and Italian for Foundation – Year 10 – see

The curricula for the four languages are awaiting endorsement from the Education Council (formerly known as the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood), but as per a decision taken by the Council, the curricula are now available for states and territories to use in schools in their jurisdictions.

The remaining languages, including the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages, Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese are currently under development. Funding for the additional languages – Turkish, Hindi, AUSLAN, and Classical Greek and Latin – has been provided by the Australian Government. 

How we kill languages and fail our cleverest children

An excellent article by Misty Adoniou, Senior Lecturer in Language, Literacy and TESL at University of Canberra

Languages education in Australia has mostly focused on the later years of schooling. A more promising way to develop languages education is to nurture the language skills of bilingual children. Approximately one third of school students speak a language other than English in the home, and enter kindergarten with sound early knowledge of their mother tongue, and with the cognitive stimulation that derives from knowledge of a second language. However, this potential rarely realised; their knowledge of their home language is usually neglected, and becomes stunted over time. Instead, it should be cultivated, as part of these students' academic learning. Ideally this would involve bilingual education programs, but when there are many language groups in the classroom such programs are logistically difficult. Other steps are more manageable. One is to employ a specialist language teacher in each primary school, to advise classroom teachers, and help them draw upon the English as an Additional Language or Dialect Teacher resources made available by ACARA. Another step would be to employ teaching assistants who speak students’ home languages, to talk to these students during the school day. Specialist teachers, assistants and mainstream teachers can all work with parents to support home language learning, and link families to community language schools. At the same time, teacher educators should be building home language awareness into courses, across all subject areas. Taken together, these measures are likely to encourage bilingual students to pursue formal languages studies in later years, to build students’ self-esteem, to sustain children's bonds with their parents, and to develop a valuable economic resource.

For copy of full article CLICK HERE

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update July 2014

Some information about language-related activities and issues that may be of interest:

  • Federal government’s agenda for languages education
  • Community interpreter training info sessions, Thursday 31 July or Saturday 2 August
  • Language courses in the ACT enrolling now
  • Talks to parent groups about languages
  • Bilingualism workshop Macquarie university 8 August
  • Closure of mylanguage website (
For more details CLICK HERE 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bilingualism workshop Macquarie University

Friday, 8th August 2014
Level 1 Lecture Theatre, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University

This workshop, co-sponsored by the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), will be a forum to learn about and discuss research relating to bi- and multilingualism. It will feature presentations from invited speakers Professor Theo Marinis (University of Reading) and Professor Jason Rothman (University of Reading), as well as Macquarie students and postdoctoral fellows. Topics will cover all areas of bi-/multilingualism, including language development, language processing, and linguistic outcomes of bilingualism. This is a free public workshop with several talks in the morning and afternoon sessions, together with ample time set aside for discussions among the participants.

For further information, including links to the program, invited speaker biographies and registration form, see:

Workshop Convenors

Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain, Professor Katherine Demuth, Dr Michael Iverson

Closure of MyLanguage Website (

MyLanguage, a partnership project between state and territory libraries, went live as a multilingual portal in 2005. The main aim was to provide electronic resources in languages other than English to complement other library services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 

Now there are a wide range of online resources easily available in many community languages and the general community has become increasingly digitally literate, fewer people have been using MyLanguage. Many former users have found other alternatives. This has led to ongoing strain upon the libraries supporting MyLanguage to continue its funding and resourcing. 

After a review of the MyLanguage website and program, including an extensive survey of stakeholders and users, National and State Libraries Australasia has taken the decision to close the MyLanguage website and programThe impact of this is likely to be minimal as the information and resources are available elsewhere.

The MyLanguage Committee has commenced archival processes on the MyLanguage website, including harvesting a copy of the website for the Pandora web archive ( The archived website is available now. The live website has been updated with information about the closure, and will be removed from public access on Friday, 8 August 2014.

Information and resources previously found on the MyLanguage website wil now need to be accessed through other online services. Please visit the help page at  for some resources and suggestions to assist.

If your organisation has any links to the MyLanguage website on your website this is the appropriate time for you to remove it plus and any shortcuts from your public access or staff PCs.