Remembering Language Studies in Australian Universities: An Italian Case Study
AuthorHajek, J; Baldwin, J
Source TitleIntersections in Language Planning and Policy Establishing Connections in Languages and Cultures
AffiliationSchool of Languages and Linguistics
CitationsHajek, J. & Baldwin, J. (2020). Remembering Language Studies in Australian Universities: An Italian Case Study. Fornasiero, J (Ed.). Reed, SMA (Ed.). Amery, R (Ed.). Bouvet, E (Ed.). Enomoto, K (Ed.). Xu, HL (Ed.). Intersections in Language Planning and Policy Establishing Connections in Languages and Cultures, (1st), pp.65-82. Springer Nature.
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Language studies in Australian universities have a long and complex history—that differs according to such things as language, institution, national imperative, etc… One essential but often overlooked part of the discipline of languages and cultures in our universities is recording and understanding precisely that history. Recording how and why specific language programs were established, for instance, is important for establishing a permanent record of historical continuity and for understanding the past and the present of language programs in the Australian tertiary sector, as well as their possible interconnections and differences. In this chapter we describe a pilot study exploring the beginnings of Italian language teaching and programs in tertiary institutions in Melbourne—and especially their somewhat inorganic expansion across the city from the late 1950s, into the 1980s and beyond. We are specifically interested in trying to understand how and why Italian language (and Italian Studies more generally) came to be taught in different universities in that city. While we present some of our early findings, including: (a) the effect of institutional type; and (b) the useful assistance of colleagues in other languages, at the same time we also have an interest in mapping out and reflecting on the methodology adopted and the challenges faced. It is hoped that our pilot study might in this way assist and encourage colleagues at other institutions to record the history of language studies in their individual institutions or cities, but who might wonder how to approach the issue in terms of possible data collection and analysis.
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