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).

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