Emeritus Professor Michael Clyne, one of Australia’s foremost experts on and advocate for multilingualism, gave The Year of Languages Lecture on 19 August 2008 at Monash Uni.
“This year, the UN International Year of Languages, countries all over the world have been reflecting on their achievements in languages and what they could be doing better.
In Australia, we have seen the continuation of a public discourse which started the previous year, on the benefits of second language learning and the decline in language programs over the years.
I will argue that this discourse will remain on the surface if it does not take into account the linguistic diversity we are blessed with, and if we cannot overcome our pervasive monolingual mindset.
I will also suggest a different, more holistic way of thinking about the benefits of plurilingualism, that is the use of more than one language. “
As well as being Emeritus Professor at Monash University and an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, Michael Clyne is a bilingual parent of a bilingual child and is a member of the Languages Action Alliance.