The Australian Academy of the Humanities website reports that: The Beyond the Crisis Colloquiumheld at the University of Melbourne (16-18 February 2009) hosted more than 140 delegates, from 30 different institutions, and representing 14 languages. The delegates included teachers, researchers, and planners. The colloquium was comprised of workshops as well as presentations of current research and innovative initiatives. It was agreed that, while different languages face distinctive needs, all languages and the nation will benefit from a more strongly articulated language teaching and learning culture in higher education. Furthermore, the assembly agreed to create a “National Tertiary Languages Network”.
It is my understanding that Prof. Joe Lo Bianco and others have applied for a NALSSP grant to establish the projected “National Tertiary Languages Network”. News on the current 2010 round of NALSSP grant proposals should follow now that the dust is settling from the recent 2010 federal election. If we want a thoroughly integrated languages education in Australia, with sensible articulation top to bottom, and effective lobbying and promotion, we need to have everyone networking together from AlphaTykes to PhD supervisors. Philip Mahnken, Sunshine Coast Continue reading »
This very informative article is published by Learning Links, an “Australian charity and non-profit organisation formed to help children who have learning disabilities, difficulties and developmental delays, and their families”.
The link below leads to references on the role of maintaining a learner’s first language in relation to the acquisition of English.
“The Australian and international TESOL fields argue that the maintenance and ongoing development of a student’s first language (L1) provides learners with a solid base from which to acquire an additional language.
Awareness of the positive influences associated with supporting L1 development is particularly important for young learners. Older learners actively draw on knowledge of their first language and its structure, conceptual and content knowledge held in this language and their L1 literacy skills when learning a subsequent language. However younger learners do not yet have this depth of knowledge to draw on and without appropriate support they are at risk of failing to acquire full proficiency in either their first language or the main language of school instruction.”
Thank you, Mandy Scott, for this information.
Tags: Place of first language