Language meet gets academics talking
A CONFERENCE which looked at improving languages education and teaching was held at the University of Southern Queensland last week.
More than 70 classroom teachers, academics and post-graduate students gathered at USQ Ipswich for the 2015 International Conference on Deep Languages Education Policy and Practice.
USQ Head of School (Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education) Associate Prof Warren Midgley said the two-day conference covered a range of topics, including stimulating languages learning, global perspectives and local practice.
Other themes explored at the conference included innovations in languages education pedagogies, digital communication technologies and multimedia and multimodal texts and issues of language and literacy in multilingual, culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
"The conference attracted many people who were interested in, or involved in, teaching and learning languages and had a strong commitment to improving languages education and cultural understanding," Associate Prof Midgley said.
"USQ recognises language learning as an important thing, and it is very high on the Australian Government's agenda and high on the Queensland's Government's agenda to introduce languages learning as soon as possible.
"But the big question that everyone wants to know is how we do it most effectively?"
Applied Linguistics Discipline coordinator associate professor Shirley O'Neill said all were encouraged to contribute to the discussion and interact with the speakers.
"We had people who have done research in different areas speak about their research into language policy and deep learning, and how to implement learning strategies through innovative teaching and digital technologies," she said.
Associate Prof O'Neill said discussions at the conference especially helped teachers gain new perspectives and skills on what are the best teaching practices to support migrant students learning English or teach other languages as a second or foreign language.