Monday, December 5, 2016

Our languages, a national resource, in 'terminal decline, SBS special report

Disconcerting report from SBS, 5 December 2016.

Our languages, a national resource, in 'terminal decline', SBS special report

Australia is losing the riches of its many languages. Even school children from immigrant families are abandoning the study of their mother tongues. In the nation’s most multicultural state, researchers claim students are being “punished” with the scaling down of their HSC marks.

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update December 2016

Some news and information about languages and languages-related activities, especially in the Canberra region.
  1.  Ideas to make Canberra a multilingual city
  2. A chance to promote languages at the Multicultural Festival, 19 February 2017
  3. Mother Tongue: Multilingual Poetry at the Canberra Multicultural Fringe 18 February 2017
  4. Language programs at Canberra schools in the news: Preschool and Mawson Primary and Telopea and the National Gallery   
  5. More opportunities to learn more languages on campus and/or online through the ANU in 2017
  6. New Canberra Academy of Languages
  7. Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT):
  8. Upcoming events and courses at the Alliance Fran├žaise de Canberra
  9. Nominate an outstanding language teacher in Australia for the 2017 Patji-Dawes Award
  10. Languages of the Pacific and indigenous Australia at the Canberra Museum and Gallery
  11. Be: longing, new online publication launched in Canberra
  12. 2017 National NAIDOC Theme - Our Languages Matter
  13. Articles and links that may be of Interest:
For more details, click HERE

Friday, October 14, 2016

Call for LOTE Markers & Assessors (Qualifying and Placement Tests)

Fortis Consulting has been asked by a Government Agency to put forward a number of language instructors to conduct marking of Language Proficiency Tests known as Qualifying (Q) & Placement (P) tests commencing November 2016 and concluding in November 2017. 

The languages being sought are: Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, French, Indonesian, German. Hindi, Japanese, Javanese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian,Spanish, Sundanese

The Scope of the Job is as Follows:
  • Positon: Marking and Assessment of Qualifying & Placement Tests – intermediate, high and advanced levels
  • Period of engagement: November 2016 – November 2017
  • Location: Remotely – Wi-Fi Connection, scanner and email access is required
  • Time Frame to complete markings: One (1) week period upon receipt from Fortis Consulting
  • Rate: $45 p/hr inclusive of super
If you are interested in this position, please send a CV and a one page summary in the following formats  CV  and   Summary to by no later than COB 19th of October 2016   

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update October 2016

A short Update about some language-related activities and news in the Canberra region. 
1. Mother Tongue Tuggeranong 
  • Multilingual Poetry Writing Workshop, Saturday 15 October 2016, 2pm-4pm 
  • Multilingual Poetry Writing performance Workshop, Saturday 22 October 2016, 2pm-4pm 
  • Multilingual Poetry Showcase Saturday 29 October 2016, 6pm-8pm 
2. Free public lecture on multilingualism, Monday October 17, 6pm-7.30pm
3. Languages Potluck Lunch Sunday 30 October, 11am - 1pm
4. Multicultural Spectacular to Aid Canberra’s Italian Earthquake Relief Appeal, Sunday 30 October, 3pm
6. Opportunities to learn and Practice Languages in Canberra 
  • Spanish, French, German or Danish conversation, Mondays 5.30-7pm for conversation.
  • Spanish, Irish, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese and Portuguese conversation groups on 
  • Indonesian Language Classes with the ACT Australia Indonesia Association
7. The School Magazine Exhibition 23 September – 21 October, and public talk Friday 14 October, 4 - 5pm

For more details about the above click HERE 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mother Tongue Tuggeranong: Multicultural Poetry Showcase and Workshops

Celebrate the variety of languages and cultures of Canberra! Anyone who speaks a language other than is welcome to participate. No experience is necessary, and any language or mix of languages is welcome. All events are free.

Writing workshop
Meet other people who write in languages other than English and share ideas to start writing and give your words impact. Have a go with fun writing activities. Anita Patel will be our guest tutor. Anita is a writer and teacher who writes and performs poetry in Bahasa Malay and English.
  • Saturday 15 October 2016, 2pm-4pm 
  • TAC Shopfront, Tuggeranong Hyperdome
Performance workshop
Have a go at reading or reciting out loud for an audience. We will try fun activities to manage nerves and speak confidently (including with a microphone) and increase the effect of our words on the audience, in any language.
  • Saturday 22 October 2016, 2pm-4pm 
  • TAC Shopfront, Tuggeranong Hyperdome
Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry Showcase
Speak a language other than English? Sign up to share your words! All languages welcome, in any style of poetry from traditional forms to hip hop. Each person will have up to 4 minutes to read or recite a poem or story in their language or a mix of languages which can include English. Original work is encouraged!
  • Saturday 29 October 2016, 6pm-8pm 
  • Tuggeranong Arts Centre
For more information, to register for a workshop or sign up for the showcase: email, call Jacqui on 0433 845 900 or visit

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Securing the Future: Multilingualism as a Social Resource

  • Speaker: Prof Joseph Lo Bianco, University of Melbourne
  • When: Monday 17 October, 6.00-7.30pm
  • Where: Auditorium, China in the World Building, ANU
Registration: seating is limited please

In this talk I will argue that there is a ‘container’ within which language policies are imagined, and language politics occurs. I think of this container as either an institutional setting, such as the education ministry of a state, or even of ‘the state’ itself, since in the Pacific what counts as a ‘state’ is a question of substantial importance. So much of the theory of sociolinguistics as it has emerged from North American and Western European research in recent decades takes for granted assumptions of a bounded space within which society and language interact with each other. However this assumed container, for reasons of scale, but also historical inheritance and language ideologies, is inapplicable to some parts of the world and represents a major obstacle to language planning.

The themes of ‘security’ and the assumption that our future is insecure dominate a lot of public discussion because of the deep transformations to the taken for granted world most adults living today inherited, of western cultural and political dominance at the military and economic levels, and therefore at cultural and ideologically also. To truly ‘secure’ the future, however, is to re-think all the assumptions we have inherited, one of them begin the naturalisation of monolingualism as a more stable, normal and necessary state. Most of the world, and many of the world’s peoples, have lived in and with multilingualism as the ‘normal’ state for much longer. Not just multilingualism, but also mixed and hybrid communication forms are needed to produce better education outcomes in Pacific Island countries, more secure ‘national’ futures, and more ‘intact' cultural systems. 

The multilingualism of Pacific island futures, and the containers within which they are conceived, will include languages of wider communication, of immigration and global space, but also the multiple languages and codes of locality.

Lo Bianco, J. (2015), Multilingual Education across Oceania pp. 604-617 in The Handbook of Bilingual and Multilingual Education, First Edition. Edited by Wayne E. Wright, Sovicheth Boun, and Ofelia Garcia. Published 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Joseph Lo Bianco is professor of Language and Literacy Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Currently he is completing a four year project in SE Asia on language – policy and peace building in conflict zones in SE Asia.

Recent publications include: Learning from Difference: Comparative Accounts of Multicultural Education, (Springer, 2016) and Conflict, Language Rights, and Education: Building Peace by Solving Language Problems in Southeast Asia.

Upcoming ANU Language Teaching Forum

  • Monday 19 September 2016, 4.15 – 5.15 pm
  • Room W3.03, Level 3, Baldessin Precinct Building #110, ANU
  • Speaker: Haruka Woods, CHL, CAP, ANU

Title: Influence of L1 onto L2 acquisition: A case of the topic/subjective markers in Japanese and the word order in Spanish

This study investigates L1 Spanish speakers’ acquisition of L2 Japanese wa and ga, which are a topic marker and a subject marker respectively, with a particular focus on the influence of Spanish subject-verb (SV) and verb-subject (VS) word order. It has been widely accepted that Spanish word order is influenced not only by discourse factors but also semantic factors (Hatcher, 1956; Contreras, 1976; among others). In contrast, the choice of wa and ga in Japanese is basically decided by discourse factors (Kuno, 1975). As a result, in terms of subject topicalisation, there is a mismatch between the choice of wa and ga in Japanese and SV and VS order in Spanish, which is predicted to influence the acquisition of these Japanese particles. I undertook a survey in order to identify this cross-linguistic influence which involved 17 L1 Spanish/L2 Japanese speakers. The results indicated that there was a clear association between the choice of wa and ga and Spanish word order, and identified some specific areas where L1 Spanish speakers had particular difficulty in making the valid choice.
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 join the mailing list contact: 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

An invitation to take part in the Review of the ACT Languages Policy

All interested in language-related issues are invited to be involved in the review of the  ACT Government’s Language Policy:Many Voices: The ACT languagespolicy 2012-2016) in two ways:  

1. Call for written comments on the current policy 
The Community Participation Group (CPG) of the ACT Community Services Directorate is calling for community input via the template downloadable HERE   

You will see that the template covers 5 key areas of the policy:  
  • English as the National Language,
  • Language Services,
  • Learning other Languages,
  • Languages and Economic Benefit and
  • Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages.
In relation to one or more of these areas, you may like to
  • list your own activities, whether assisted by government or other organisations/groups  
  • comment on the policy's aims and government implementation
  • suggest new ideas or ways to strengthen the policy 
Please return responses to by cob Friday 29 July.

2. Public forums 
You are invited to attend one of two public forums to 
  • hear reports on the community responses collected through the exercise above, plus responses from a similar template sent to ACT Government Directorates and 
  • discuss the issues raised and provide further comments on the achievements of the current policy and ideas for new actions/priorities.  
Details of the forums:
  • Tuesday 9 August 6.30pm to 8.30pm, Function Room, 2nd Floor, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, LondonCircuit, Canberra city  or
  • Saturday 13 August 1.30pm to 4pm, Room 121 on the lower level of the Baldessin Precinct Building (Building 110) at ANU. Please enter by door on Ellery Crescent – see MAP
Attendance is free, and refreshments will be available

To register for one of the forums (RSVP by Friday 5 August), please contact Lindsay Burge, Senior Policy and Projects Officer, CPG at or Mandy Scott at

Discussion at these forums, plus the previous written comments, will help guide the review process and provide input for the Directorate's recommendations to government on the form and content of the Languages Policy 2016-2020.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Multilingual poetry and spoken word event

Celebrate the many languages spoken in the Canberra region at this spoken word event.  Come along and listen and/or contribute a poem or story of your own.

  • Who: People who speak, write or just enjoy listening to languages other than English in all their rich variety.
  • When: 2.00pm - 4.00pm on Sunday 26 June 2016
  • Where: Belconnen Arts Centre
  • Cost: Free

All welcome. For more info see

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update May 2016

Some information about language-related activities and news, especially in the Canberra region. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.

Click HERE for more information about the following
Feedback and contributions to future Updates welcome

Monday, March 14, 2016

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update March 2016

A short Update about some information about language-related activities and news in the Canberra region. Please feel free to pass on to colleagues and friends who may be interested.
  • Promoting languages at the Connect and Participate (CAP) Expo, Saturday 19 March
  • Noted Festival 16 – 20 March 2016, including workshops on Auslan Storytelling and Writing on Other Tongues
  • More opportunities to celebrate other languages in poetry in the Canberra Region: Mother Tongue: multilingual poetry open mic
  • Seminar: Raising children in more than one language, Sunday 10 April
  • Opportunities for people wanting to improve their English Skills in the ACT area
  • Interested becoming involved in the Modern Language Teachers’ Association ACT?
  • Help celebrate the centenary of the School Magazine 
Feedback and contributions to future Updates welcome

For more details click HERE 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Celebrate International Mother Language Day

  • 10.30am-1.30pm Sunday 21 February
  • Near the International Flags Display (behind Questacon car park) on Lake Burley Griffin 
Join the community Language Walk at 11am across the bridge and around the lake to Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park (near Regatta Point).

With a warm up band performing from 11am, the main Cultural Performance Program will formally commence on Stage 88 from 11.50am and conclude around 1.30pm.

Come and enjoy:
  • a fun day celebrating Australia’s diversity of languages and cultures!
  • a packed program with a bunch of Australia’s finest singers, rappers, traditional dances, African drummers, poets and more from across all walks of our community.
  • Sausage sizzle, jumping castle, face and henna painting and a free T’shirts for early comers!

Come along in your community’s national costume or come as you are.

Proudly brought to you by: International Mother Language Movement (IMLM) and Supported by: ACT Government (Office of Multicultural Affairs), Bangladesh Australia Association (BAAC), The ACT Bilingual Education Alliance (ACTBEA), National Capital Authority.

See program and map here.  For more details email or follow IMLD Canberra on facebook.

For more information on International Mother Language Day see

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Indonesian Language Classes

Discount for payments before 1 February
  • Fun vocational classes
  • Teachers are professional and native Indonesian speaking
Five levels
  • Advanced – Tuesdays 7-9pm
  • Intermediate – Thursdays 7-9pm
  • Continuing Beginners - Mondays 7-9pm
  • Beginners level 2/3 – Wednesday 7-9pm
  • Beginners level 1 - Wednesdays 7-9pm
  • Commence week beginning 1 February 2016 (4 terms a year starting the same week school commences)
  • Each term runs for 8 weeks 
  • Classes held at a private address in O’Malley
  • non members $140* (reduce this by $10 for payment before 1 February)
  • members $120* (reduce this by $10 for payment before 1 February) and membership $10pa
For Fast enrolment: make electronic payment to account BSB 032-729 Account No: 13-0447 Account Name: Australian Indonesia Association.  Please provide your surname with the payment and email to confirm payment and class level

For more information:
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.