Projects

Flourishing in a Second Language
LCNAU is pleased to introduce an exciting new project funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching and awarded to LCNAU members Dr Antonella Strambi and Dr Ann Luzeckyj (Flinders University) and Assoc Prof Antonia Rubino (University of Sydney): Flourishing in a Second Language (FL2) – a language curriculum for first-year university students which integrates positive psychology, transition pedagogy and Content-and-Language-Integrated Learning (CLIL) principles.

University Languages Portal Australia
LCNAU welcomes the awarding of national funding for a new OLT project ‘A national language studies portal for Australian universities’. It will have a significant effect on numbers of students learning languages by making visible in a single online location all languages taught at all Australian universities, ranging from Indigenous Australian languages to global languages, from semester-long courses to full degree programs, and via a number of delivery methods. For more information about “University Languages Portal Australia” (ULPA), download the LCNAU Press Release or ULPA information sheet – or go straight to the ULPA website.

Survey of Honours programs in Languages
Professor Kerry Dunne (University of Wollongong; Vice President, LCNAU) is conducting a survey of Honours programs in languages across the tertiary sector. The survey aims to establish:
– which universities and which languages are offering Honours programs;
– whether there is a move to replace Honours degree with a Masters of Arts what the programs entail, and whether collaboration with other universities is allowing more diverse program;
– whether casualization of language academics, reduced contact hours and/or minimum class size policies are impacting on languages disciplines ability to offer Honours programs;
-whether combined Honours programs are possible or whether financial considerations are impacting on their viability.
This survey will complement the ULPA (University Languages Portal Australia) project and will provide some answers about the extent to which languages are maintaining their presence as research disciplines. It is planned to present the preliminary findings at the LCNAU Colloquium.


LCNAU facilitates research across the sector
A key factor in the strengthening of the sector is engagement in research on and through languages other than English. LCNAU has initiated projects on two important and under-researched areas; one of these focusses on languages of small enrolment, while the other is a major study on juniorisation and casualisaton within languages and cultures programs in the tertiary sector. Publications arising out of this research may be found on our Resources page.

LCNAU provided seed funding for five projects in 2012 (see below); contact us for further details about these.

1. “Research identities in languages and cultures
Co-ordinating Investigator: Jean Fornasiero (University of Adelaide)

2. “ARABIA: Language learning through cultural experiences in a virtual world
Co-ordinating Investigators: Scott Grant (Monash University), Christina Mayer (University of Melbourne)

3. “Language learning in virtual worlds: the role of foreign languages anxiety and technical anxiety
Co-ordinating Investigator: Scott Grant (Monash University)

4. “Student pathways in languages education from school to university: attrition and retention
Co-ordinating Investigator: Lesley Harbon (University of Sydney)

5. “Language students’ pathways: motivation and retention
Co-ordinating Investigator: Gabriele Schmidt (ANU)


Other projects of significance to the sector

Metaevaluation of program evaluations in Australian university languages departmental reviews
Researcher: Lucia Alicia Martinez Marco (University of Melbourne)
The lack of systematic research on what theories are driving evaluations, what conditions are contributing to making these processes work for their programs, and those involved in them, and for what purposes, has been pointed out as a gap that reveals a disconnection between evaluation theory and practice. As a result, insisting calls towards creating and/or increasing a corpus of evidence of systematic studies on evaluation practice is currently being emphasized in academic forums. Metaevaluation, that is, the evaluation of an evaluation, is one of the useful approaches that have been suggested to conduct this type of research that can help ensure high quality evaluation processes at the same time that it adjusts to the culture in which the evaluation is conducted. This project’s goal is to contribute to building knowledge on evaluation practices of languages programs particularly in Australian higher education where this gap has also been identified. Through metaevaluating review reports from a number of university languages programs, this project will first shed light on the current state of evaluation practice; second, metaevaluation findings will be used to propose recommendations to enhance evaluation practices in this domain so that it informs good practice; and third, as a result, it will contribute to strengthen languages education in the tertiary sector in Australia.

The Marco Polo Project
The Marco Polo Project is a free online tool to improve China and Chinese language literacy. Our website is a collaborative online translation platform, bringing Chinese writing to Western audiences by crowd-sourcing translations. It also provides a place for emerging or amateur translators to practice their skills as part of a community. For more information, see http://themarcopoloproject.wordpress.com

“Are you for or against the adaptation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to the Australian context?”
Research is being conducted by Dr Nadine Normand-Marconnet (Monash University) about the integration of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) in Australian language programs’ curriculum and assessment. To learn more, download the information sheet; to participate in a brief anonymous online survey, see https://www.research.net/s/CEFR-Australia-survey.

ALTC Fellowship: Indonesian in Australian Universities The final report, Indonesian Language in Australian Universities: Strategies for a stronger future, was launched on Monday 27 February, 2012, at Parliament House in Canberra and is now available online.