Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why learning a new language should be your New Year's resolution

Dr Ruth Arber and Dr Michiko Weinmann of Deakin University's Centre for Teaching and Learning Languages argue that learning a new language should be top of your list. 

Here are their top five reasons why learning a new language should be on your to-do list in 2016.
  1. For each new language you learn, you'll stave off dementia for about five years
  2. You'll recover from a stroke much more quickly
  3. You'll become a better multi-tasker and boost your memory and attention span
  4. You'll become more employable
  5. You'll become a better traveller
To read more CLICK HERE

For ideas about where you can add to your language repertoire in the Canberra Region for adults CLICK HERE and for children HERE

Friday, December 4, 2015

Help Save S4C - the ONLY Welsh language TV channel in existence

This may be of interest for anyone with a connection to, or interest in Wales and the Welsh language, or involved in promoting or maintaining minority languages.

Funding for S4C, the ONLY Welsh language TV channel in existence is under threat. S4C not only produces top quality TV programs but many are available internationally and are a great resource for learning and maintaining Welsh language skills (see However, overseas viewers are apparently not counted when the viewing figures for S4C are tallied up.

Henddraig has created an online petition for S4C viewers across the world to express their support for the channel and asking that current funding levels be maintained. You can Sign the Petition by clicking on that link.

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update December 2015

An update about language-related activities and issues. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.  
For more details see

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Open Day of new Chinese Culture Centre

A collaboration between Canberra Grammar School and the Australian School of Contemporary Chinese (ASCC).
  • 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, 7 November 2015. Snow Centre, 
  • Canberra Grammar School, 40 Monaro Crescent, Red Hill. ACT 2603
Free Chinese classes, painting, calligraphy, paper cutting, book fair and public seminar by Dr Xiaomei Ma, the Director of the HSK Test Centre in Canberra.

For more information CLICK HERE of contact or 0419 541 336

Friday, October 30, 2015

ACT Community Language Schools Day 2015

Community language schools and playgroups from across Canberra gather to celebrate and share their learning through displays and performances.  
  • Saturday, 7 November 2015, 2pm-6pm
  • University of Canberra Refectory
  • Free admission and all welcome 

All are invited to this day of celebration organised by the ACT Community Language Schools Association with the support of the ACT Government through the Community Language Schools Program.  

Some schools will be cooking some of their traditional foods for you to purchase.

For more information: phone 6230 5191 of email

Find out more about this great community resource!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Achieving multi-level success in managing a foreign language content course with multi-level students

ANU Language Teaching Forum
  •  Monday 26 October, 4.15 to 5.15pm
  • Room W3.03, Level 3, Baldessin Precinct Building (BPB) , ANU.
Consuelo Martinez Reyes will be talking about Achieving multilevel success in managing a foreign language content course with mulitlevel students.

Abstract: While teaching language courses we introduce our students to basic cultural and linguistic content through practical grammar exercises. But once students gain enough grammatical skills, they venture onto specialized courses in literature, culture, and linguistics. These content-based classrooms often offer challenges specifically linked to the variety of their student body. How do we engage learners presenting differing levels of language skills? How do we encourage students to reflect upon content despite their perceived grammar limitations? This talk will focus on strategies to successfully manage foreign language content-based courses with students from multiple language-levels. I will share useful techniques to engage both mid and advanced level students in courses coded at the 2000-level that welcome students above it. I will look at ways to promote the incorporation of research, reflection, and writing exercises that allow each student to make the best of their individual language skills with the least amount of frustration. The talk will touch on issues like how to mix and match students according to the aims of group activities, and how to reutilize individual reflection exercises in future course assessments. We will also question the role of grammar “limitations” in hindering and/or promoting classroom communication and engagement with cultural content.

This forum is jointly coordinated by the College of Arts & Social Sciences (the School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics and the Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies) and the College of Asia & the Pacific (the School of Culture, History & Language).

For more information and/or to be added to the mailing list contact: Dr Louise Jansen (SLLL, CASS), Dr Duck-Young Lee (CHL, CAP) or Ms France Meyer (CAIS, CASS)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Teaching grammar – Why? When? How? Monday 24 August

Teaching grammar – Why? When? How?  Some perspectives from research in language learning and teaching

Dr Louise Jansen, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics (SLLL), ANU
  • Monday 24 August 2015, 4.15 – 5.15 pm
  • Room W3.03, Level 3, Baldessin Precinct Building #110, ANU
  • FREE admission ALL WELCOME 
Do we need to teach our students grammar? Most of us would say “yes”. But why is teaching grammar necessary? When is the optimal point of teaching grammar? And how do we best go about it? In this talk I will present for discussion some perspectives on these questions from research in language teaching and learning. The starting point will be research in the early eighties, which hypothesized that teaching grammar is not necessary. We will see that when it was put to the test, this hypothesis failed. The body of the talk will review subsequent research into the role of focus on form in communicative language teaching and present a range of techniques, which researchers have proposed and tested. These will include more reactive approaches, such as recasting a learner’s utterance in the correct form, as well as more pro-active approaches, which focus on the nature of the input and/or form-focused communicative activities. I will then broach the question of grammar learnability as it relates to optimal timing of focus on form. The presentation will conclude with some cognitive perspectives on the possible positive role, and possible pitfalls, of grammar explanations, or inductive rule search activities, in fostering accuracy in learners’ communicative target language use. Arising for discussion will be a range of issues relating to teaching practice, such as the possible contribution of grammar lecturing, the role of writing in grammar learning, and whether achieving optimal timing in focus on form is feasible in practice.

This presentation talk is part of the ANU Language Teaching Forum jointly coordinated by CASS - the College of Arts & Social Sciences (SLLL and the Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies) and CAP - the College of Asia & the Pacific (School of Culture, History & Language).

Next Forum: Monday 26 October with a presentation from Consuelo Martinez Reyes.

The November forum will be a pre-LCNAU (Language and Culture network of Australian Universities) colloquium.  

For more information about the ANU Language Teaching Forum and/or to be added to the mailing list contact: Dr Louise Jansen (SLLL, CASS), Dr Duck-Young Lee (CHL, CAP) or Ms France Meyer (CAIS, CASS)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Discover the Key Principles and Features of “Content and Language Integrated Learning - CLIL”

Organised by the Modern Language Teachers Association ACT Inc.
  • 8:30am-12:30pm, Saturday, 15th August
  • Australian Catholic University, Signadou Campus, 223 Antill St, Watson
  • Bring along a teaching colleague of languages and meet other language teachers.
  • Bring your own device.
Start with breakfast. Be inspired by the keynote address from the guest speaker, Dr Simone Smala. PhD, School of Education, University of Queensland. Followed by hands-on workshops on CLIL and of course a morning tea.

CLIL is a teaching approach and pedagogy in second language teaching that has had worldwide success over the past 10 years. It is now explored in various settings in Australia, in particular in Victoria and Queensland. In the CLIL approach, the second language is used as the medium of instruction for mainstream subjects and topics, such as science, social science and maths. The teacher integrates language learning with topical content learning, and creates an authentic language speaking situation for second language learners.

COST: Current MLTA ACT Inc. members FREE Non-members  $30 (On payment you will receive ½ year membership of the MLTA ACT Inc - this does not include Babel Subscription)

RSVP by Tuesday 11th August to: 

For poster CLICK HERE and for Program CLICK HERE

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Intercultural Dimensions of English Language Teaching: a free online Professional Development course

Registrations are now open for this free online professional development course beginning in August 2015. This pilot course is open to any experienced teacher of English as a second or foreign language (EFL/ESL) in post-secondary education, including:
  • Full-time, part-time or casual (sessional) lecturers, tutors, teaching assistants at universities, colleges, vocational institutions, technical training institutes, or community colleges
  • Teacher educators, trainers and teachers at centres for professional development
  • Teachers in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs or English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
  • Graduate and postgraduate students who have EFL/ESL teaching experience in tertiary education
Participants who complete all course requirements will be awarded certificates of completion from the Centre for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching (CHELT) of the Australian National University.

For more information: email or see 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update July 2015

Some information about language-related activities and issues. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.
  • Time to expand or brush up your language skills: Term 3/Second semester programs starting week beginning 20 July 2015
  • A free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on language revival starts 28 July 2015
  • Promoting Mandarin in the ACT, applications for new grant open until 17 August and news of ACT Mandarin Blueprint
  • Join Alumni France Australia
  • Explore Our Indigenous Story, A collaboration between the Children’s Book Council of Australia ACT Branch and AIATSIS Aboriginal Studies Press, Tuesday 4 August
  • Snudging Cheapskates and Magnificent Profusion: The Conceptual Baggage of ‘Mean’ and ‘Generous’, HRC seminar, Tuesday 21 July, 2015 
  • Intensive Seminar for Primary Teachers of Japanese, Sydney, Monday 28 Sep- Thursday 1 October 
  • News from the ARC Centre for the Dynamics of Language
  • Writing what matters: a festival of Canberra readers, writers and storytellers, Wednesday 22 July 
  • Hindi in Australia national workshop, Friday 17 July 2015
  • Nominations for Patji-Dawes award to honour outstanding achievements in language teaching by an accomplished practitioner close 20 August 2015.
CLICK HERE for more information about the above.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Language Revival: Securing the Future of Endangered Languages

A free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on language revival
  • Learn how the world’s endangered languages are revived and why this process is critical to preserving cultural identity.
Starts 28 July 2015. All welcome. Instructors are Ghil'ad Zuckermann and Rob Amery of the University of Adelaide.

For more information CLICK HERE 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update May 2015

Some information about language-related activities and issues. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.
  • Australian Association of Interpreters and Translators ACT branch events 
    • Networking meeting for interpreters, translators and others interested in and involved with languages 2pm Saturday 30 May, 2015 
    • Round Table Workshop for providers and users of interpreting and translating services and others interested in and involved with languages, 9.30am – 3pm, Thursday 11June 2015 
  • Find out about what the ARC Centre for the Dynamics of Language does and how you can get involved 
  • Patji-dawes award to honour outstanding achievements in language teaching 
  • Seven more language curricula now available on the Australian Curriculum website 
  • Hindi in Australia - national workshop Friday 17 July 2015 
  • Languages Potluck Lunch, Sunday 14 June 
  • A new international Research Network on social and affective factors in home language maintenance and development 
  • Bilingual Marketplace and Languages Australia website 
  • Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships axed from January 2016
CLICK HERE for more information about the above.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ARC Centre for the Dynamics of Language

The centre’s website is now up and running. Find out what they do and how you can get involved. 

Whatever your specific interest in language, you are sure to find something to excite you in their broad research program.

Every year the Centre hosts a series of targeted workshops on the state-of-the-art in language research methods (Summerfest), and holds a public lecture on an aspect of our research. They also offer affiliate status to researchers working within the scope of our program.

Check out their current job vacancies, find out about upcoming events and subscribe to their newsletter at

Networking meeting for interpreters, translators, and others interested in and involved with languages

AUSIT is having a networking meeting for interpreters, translators, all those interested in and involved with languages. 
  • WHEN?     2pm Saturday 30 May, 2015
  • WHERE?   Café at  National Museum of Australia, 1 Lawson Crescent, Acton ACT

No cost involved. Except for your coffee/tea or whatever you consume.  Come and meet practising interpreters/translators willing to share their experiences.  Bring your queries and anecdotes to make the meeting enriched and interesting.

For more information about AUSIT see

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Free Public Seminar: Is bilingualism an advantage for cognitive control? Evidence from the Simon Task

  • Tuesday 5 May 2015, 5pm to 6pm
  • Al-Falasi lecture theatre, CAIS, 127, Ellery Crescent, ANU, Canberra 
  • Speaker Célia Mendes PhD Candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Otago
Several studies indicate that being proficient in more than one language leads to positive cognitive gains in the form of attentional control and conflict monitoring. This talk investigates this through a study based on the Simon Task (Craft & Simon, 1970). Over 100 adults participated, 38 English monolingual speakers and 77 bilinguals whose native tongue was not English. Results did not support a bilingual advantage (measured by a reduced susceptibility to the conflict effect in response times and in error rates). Click HERE for more details of the talk.

This free public seminar is part of the ANU Language Teaching Forum, which usually holds talks on the fourth Monday of the month, from 4.15pm – 5.15 pm. The forum is jointly coordinated by the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS) and the College of Asia & the Pacific (CAP). For more information about the Language Teaching Forum contact: 

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update April 2015

Some information about language-related activities and issues. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.

CLICK HERE for more information about the following
  • Events related to ‘Global Languages’, the theme of the ANU Humanities Research Centre for 2015: Tuesday Afternoon Seminar program and Global English, Minimal English Symposium
  • Inaugural Book Launch of the French Research Cluster, Wednesday 29 April, 5.30-6.30pm
  • Language learning classes and other resources in the ACT region 
  • Literary events at the National Library of Australia: Meet Graeme Simsion and Hack Attack
  • Events organised by the Lu Rees Archives of Australian Children’s Literature Inc: ‘Hippopotomusing’ with Hazel Edwards and Colin Thiele Talk and Festival
  • Some news items and articles about languages and language learning 

Friday, March 20, 2015

How to represent spoken language in written form: Analysing conversational data from James Joyce to Southern Papua New Guinea

  • 4pm-5.30pm, Tuesday 24 March 2015
  • HRC Conference Room, Top Floor, AD Hope Building ANU
  • Professor Volker Gast, Friedrich Schiller University, Germany
This talk will deal with the variation of human language along two dimensions, the medium (spoken vs. written) and the level of distance or proximity between the interlocutors (from local to global). The main focus of the talk will be on matters of methodology, i.e. the question of how the type of register variation in question can be systematically investigated and, ideally, measured.

Free and open to the public

For a list of upcoming Tuesday HRC seminars – all with a focus on some aspect of language in first semester 2015, CLICK HERE

Friday, March 13, 2015

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update March 2015

The March 2015 Forum Update for 2015 contains information about the following:   
  • Growing Professionally: Mini-conference organised by the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators ACT. Saturday, 21 March 2015, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, CIT Bruce Campus
  • Raising children in more than one language, free seminar and discussion session, Sunday 22 March 2015, 1.30pm-4.30pm, JG Crawford Building, ANU
  • Public Seminar: Hindi Express - Phones, tablets and notebooks in class, Monday 23 March 2015, 4.15 – 5.15 pm, Baldessin Precinct Building, ANU
  • How to find out more about the monthly seminars of the ANU Language Teaching Forum
  • Other Language News from the ANU: Javanese on YouTube, Portuguese now available at first and second year level, What’s happening at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • International Mother Language Day report and more about the group that coordinates the annual celebration in the ACT
  • ACT Bilingual Education Alliance, information for families raising children in more than one language, educators and researchers with an interest in bilingual programs, and adults learning languages in the ACT region, including English
  • Some more news items and articles about Languages.
CLICK HERE for more details

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Learn Italian with the Dante Alighieri Society of Canberra

The Dante Alighieri Society of Canberra (DAS) is a non-profit organisation promoting Italian language and culture -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How the language we speak guides the way we listen

The ARC Centre of excellence for the Dynamics of Language at the Australian National University invites you to this talk:   
  • Wednesday, 4 February 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (AEDT)
  • Lotus Hall, The Australian Centre on China in the World, Building 188, Fellows Lane ANU

Two people who hear exactly the same speech sounds will process them differently depending on what their own native language prepares them to expect.

Professor Anne Cutler from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamic of Language explains how our native languages train us to listen in particular ways and how we ignore or respond to specific speech cues. 

This research is allowing us to predict problems as well as opportunities in second-language acquisition.

Fun Vocational Indonesian Language Classes 2015

Six levels
  • Advanced – Tuesdays 7-9pm
  • Intermediate – Thursdays  7-9pm
  • Continuing Beginners - Mondays 7-9pm
  • Beginners level 3 – Thursdays 7-9pm
  • Beginners level 2 –Tuesdays 7-9pm
  • Beginners level 1 -  Wednesdays 7-9pm
  • Commence week beginning 9 February 2015
  • Each class runs for 8 weeks
  • Classes held at a private address in O’Malley 
  • Teachers are professional and native Indonesian speaking         

  • non members $130,  members $110 (membership $10pa)

Prizes for beginner classes levels 1-3: $100 dinner vouchers for outstanding student in each class. Donated by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. 

For more information:  Phone: Phil 0406 930 835, Email:, webpage – 

The Australia Indonesia Association is a not for profit organization. However, we do raise funds to support the Association’s charitable efforts in Indonesia. The Association would like to acknowledge the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in running this program. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update January 2015

Happy New Year. The first Forum Update for 2015 contains information about the following:   
  • ANU opens up more of its language courses to the wider community - online courses now available in Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Russian, Persian, Sanskrit, Thai, Tibetan and Vietnamese; and summer courses in Arabic and Mongolian.
  • Details of Semester 1 courses at CIT Solutions (Arabic, Auslan, Croatian, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish)
  • Information about other language learning opportunities for adults in the Canberra region
  • A chance to promote language learning at the Multicultural Festival in Canberra, Sunday 15 February 2015, 11am-4.30pm
  • Celebrate Languages at the walk for International Mother Language Day, Saturday 21 February 2015
  • Lu Rees Archives of Australian children’s literature, translations in 53 languages; promoting reading in Chinese in Canberra; offering internships for students
  • Information for those Interested in CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)
  • Applications for Erasmus Mundus Masters Program  in Language and Communication Technologies closing 12 January 2015
  • Families with children under 4 years old sought for ANU research project on how children acquire language
CLICK HERE for more details