Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications
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ItemBilingual Education in AustraliaLo Bianco, J ; Slaughter, Y ; Garcia, O ; Lin, A ; May, S (Springer International Publishing, 2017)The Australian experience of bilingual education is composed of three separate audiences: Indigenous groups and their languages, immigrant groups and their languages (both of these groups seeking language maintenance and intergenerational vitality), and mainstream English speakers seeking additive language study. All these interests share a common aim of lobbying for more serious and substantial language education programs, but differ significantly in the purposes and context of their promotion of bilingual education. This chapter provides an overview of historical, political, and educational influences on forms of bilingual education that have emerged, in the context of state and national language policy and practices, to meet the needs of Indigenous Australians, migrant communities, and Anglophones.
ItemRecognizing Diversity: The Incipient Role of Intercultural Education in ThailandLo Bianco, J ; Slaughter, Y ; LoBianco, J ; Bal, A (SPRINGER, 2016-01-01)Thailand has a long and consistent policy of denying concessions to a pluralist vision of its identity which would arise from formal recognition of differences, and has never embraced, at the official level, any discourse approximating multiculturalism. Instead, it has stressed the importance of minority assimilation to established and privileged norms, and succeeded in propagating a general perception of itself, both domestically and internationally, as ethnically homogenous. Despite this attempt to create an image of cultural homogeneity, as the first section of this chapter demonstrates, Thailand has a long history of diversity, from the polyethnic foundations of the Kingdom of Siam to the geophysical demarcation of its territory. Suppression of diversity in Thailand has resulted in ethnic stratification, the consequences of which reverberate throughout modern society. The second component of the chapter focuses on an education commission undertaken through the UNICEF Language, Education and Social Cohesion (LESC) Initiative, a component of the UNICEF Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy (PBEA) Programme. Activities undertaken through the LESC Initiative, and through this particular mapping exercise, represent important groundwork in creating a dialogue around difference and how it is represented and engaged with in the Thai education system. In the context of the exercise in curriculum mapping, some reflections on the relevance of the notions of multicultural education for the specific setting and historical circumstances of Thailand are elaborated.
ItemLanguage policy and education in AustraliaSlaughter, Y ; Lo Bianco, J ; McCarty, T ; May, S (Springer International Publishing, 2017)Australia’s language policy history reflects the country’s complex linguistic demography and multiple policy needs and interests. Languages and language policy have played an important and evolving role in the formation of Australia as a postcolonial, immigrant, and trading nation, moving from the suppression of Indigenous languages and a preference for British English norms through colonization, to greater assertion of language rights for Indigenous and immigrant languages, and onto economically motivated language planning. The policy landscape has been intermittently shaped by decisive policies for language policy and language education policy, as well as educational interventions such as the prioritization of English literacy. This chapter provides an overview of the historical, political, and educational influences on the language policy landscape in Australia, including achievements in addressing Indigenous and community language needs, along with supporting second language acquisition more broadly in the education system. However, the absence of a national language policy contributes to a weak language policy environment, where language rights are highly politicized and the loss of collaborative language policy processes has led to fragmented and fragile language program provision.
ItemThe Australian Asia projectLo Bianco, J ; Slaughter, Y ; Leitner, G ; Hashim, A ; Wolf, H-G (Cambridge University Press, 2016)The Australian project of accommodation to the Asia-Pacific region as the dynamic centre of the world’s economy can now be dated in decades. Successive Federal and State governments have focused on shifting the national consciousness from its predominant, inherited Western cultural dispositions, towards Asia. Driven by the overriding concerns of trade and economic relations, more than $400 million of additional funding has been invested in the prioritization of Asia studies and Asian languages, with considerable additional resources for research, cultural studies, exchanges, etc. Policies and funding have endeavoured to dramatically increase Australia’s ‘Asia literacy’ to aid economic engagement with what has come increasingly to be called ‘the region’ or ‘our region’. All major political configurations adhere to the broad outlines of such engagement, lending the entire endeavour a sense of inevitability; so much so that there is little problematizing of the educational consequences of the shift of economic power from the ‘West’ to the ‘East’. However, despite ambitious plans and substantial funding, Asian language policies have consistently fallen short of targets. This chapter discusses some intricacies involved in formulating an Asia-prioritizing agenda, referring to the wider communication ecology. Language policies must acknowledge the pluralization of modern forms of communication as well as the emergence of multiple cultural and linguistic identities in the transnational reality of contemporary society. The Australian experience highlights the importance of crafting Asia-focused policies within a wider framework of comprehensive language planning (Lo Bianco 2010), that values existing cultural and linguistic diversities, as well as envisioned ones, along with a pragmatic sense of the limits to what can be asked of school knowledge in relation to trade and diplomatic petitions.