Centre aspires to excellence in Asian language education
28 August 2009
Deakin University has received Australian Government funding for a project which will establish the Centre for Teaching Asian Languages and Cultures to recruit and train additional teachers of Asian languages and retain and support existing teachers in this field.
Deakin's Building effective partnerships to increase teacher supply and enhance the quality of Asian languages education project was recently selected as one of seven projects to receive funding under round one of the Government's Strategic Collaboration and Partnership Fund, a key element of their National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP).
Deputy Dean of Deakin's Faculty of Arts and Education Professor Gary Smith welcomed the announcement of the $499,100 in funding.
"This is a great success for Deakin and recognises our strengths both in languages and teacher education as well as our capacity to build external partnerships. It is an opportunity for Deakin to make a significant contribution to national priorities in a leadership role," he stated.
"The Centre for Teaching Asian Languages and Cultures will operate as a partnership hub at Deakin to increase the supply of quality teachers to education systems in Australia and to support teaching practices and initiatives in schools.
"It will be formed in the Faculty of Arts and Education to coordinate the delivery of courses across the School of International and Political Studies (Chinese and Indonesian language programs) and the School of Education (Teaching Languages Other than English, or LOTE, program). The course design will incorporate existing accredited programs to provide undergraduate, graduate and further education for secondary and primary teachers of Asian languages.
"The Centre will also provide professional development and teacher re‐training courses and develop curriculum resources and materials to enhance the teaching of Asian languages and studies of Asia. It will have a focus on partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including metropolitan and rural schools, Asian communities and community language schools, and international education partners, aspiring to become a centre of excellence in teaching Asian languages and cultures," he said.
"I believe that the Centre will become a key player in promoting the benefits of cultural and linguistic diversity. Language education plays a key role in the development and strengthening of positive community attitudes and recognition of difference, helping learners to know the world around them, to value multiple perspectives and to understand global connections and patterns."
Associate Professor Kostogriz said it was anticipated the Centre would prepare 80–100 qualified teachers of Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean languages within the first three years of its operation.
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