Category Archives: Language and Linguistics

Learning Italian in Australia

This month Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters is publishing Identity Trajectories of Adult Second Language Learners: Learning Italian in Australia by Cristiana Palmieri (Italian Studies, University of Sydney). The book explores the motivations of adult second language (L2) learners to learn Italian in continuing education settings in Australia. It focuses on their motivational drives, learning trajectories and related dynamics of identity development triggered by the learning process. Also discussed is the role played by the Italian migrant community in Australia in making Italian a sought-after language to learn, highlighting the importance of taking account of L2 learning contexts. This link indicates the book’s contents and the positive international reviews it has received.

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Melbourne ACIS Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019-2020

ACIS and the University of Melbourne have established a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Italian Studies, located in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, with a starting date of 1 February 2019. The Fellow will have the opportunity to build a research profile through the development of an original research project in any area of Italian Studies broadly defined, including, but not limited to, literature, linguistics, history, political studies, anthropology, and art history.  The Fellow is also expected to have a teaching workload of up to 25% in Italian Studies, European Studies or Italian language and culture at an undergraduate and/or Honours level.

To apply, candidates must have been awarded a PhD from an Australian or New Zealand university after 1 January 2012 in any area of Italian Studies and be either citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand. Graduates who satisfy the PhD requirements and currently live in Australia under the Temporary Graduate Visa (485) expiring after the end of 2020 will also be considered. Full details of the position and the application process can be found here.

The closing date for applications is 28 November 2018.

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Address practices in Italian

 

The International Pragmatics Asssociation conference, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 9-14 June 2019, will include a panel on Address practices in Italian, convened by Agnese Bresin (University of Melbourne), now calling for paper proposals by 1 October 2018. Addressing each other is a complex operation, in which speakers position themselves and their interlocutors in some form of relationship. With their strong link to situational and cultural contexts and to basic demographic features of the interlocutors, address practices reveal perceived identities and human relations as well as wider social changes. The under-explored Italian case is of particular interest in this field of study for a number of reasons: the status and geographical distribution of “voi” in relation to “tu” and “lei”, the significant diatopic variation expected, and the complex relationship between regional varieties of Italian and the so-called ‘Italian dialects’.
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Migrants and asylum seekers in Italy

Was Italy the desired destination in the minds of migrants and asylum seekers who are now settled there? What image, if any, of Europe did they have before they arrived? What picture do migrants from many different places have of the smugglers who help them move? Are Facebook and social media important channels of communication and decision-making for migrants? How should the false and incomplete information which migrants rely on be corrected? These and other issues are the topic of a recent report, based on interviews and fieldwork, prepared for the European Commission by Gabriella Sanchez and her co-authors, A study of the communication channels used by migrants and asylum seekers in Italy, with a particular focus on online and social media (2018).

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Work and culture among sessional staff in language departments

Although not specifically concerned with Italian, a recent article in the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice (2018, 6, 1, 19-27), ‘Managing Expectations: A Case Study of Sessional Staff in Languages and Cultures Education in Australian Universities‘ by Josh Brown and Federica Verdina, provides valuable insights into the largely unresearched work patterns and culture of casual/sessional staff. The survey they conducted across language departments indicates that although most staff appear to be satisfied with the work itself, the further issues in short-term contracts – academic recognition, opportunities to engage in course innovation, possibilities for promotion –  are largely ignored by universities despite the high academic qualifications and intellectual commitment of most sessionals.

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Literature, Culture, Communication: Research Workshop: Call for Papers

 

The first event organised by ACIS’s Literature, Culture and Communication Research Group will be a 1.5-day workshop devoted to Exploring and Translating Stratified Multilingual Landscapes. The workshop, free to participants, will be held at the La Trobe University Collins St Campus in Melbourne on 10-11 August 2018. Its focus  will be on asymmetrical translingual and transcultural exchanges, and on non-mainstream, non-standard or localized responses to transculturality in the Italian context. Our invited speaker will be Carol O’Sullivan (Translation Studies, University of Bristol) who will speak about bilingual subtitling experiments from Italian into both English and Irish. We now invite proposals for 15-minute discussion papers on topics related to the workshop theme. We welcome works in progress, proof of concept presentations, as well as panels and roundtables, with contributions from a wide range of disciplines and sub-disciplines, including but not limited to literary studies, cultural studies, linguistics, film studies, language teaching, translation studies, anthropology, and migration studies. Participation by postgraduates and early-career scholars is encouraged; we expect to make a small amount of travel funding available to postgraduate students whose papers are accepted. Abstracts (max. 300 words), with a short biographical note, should be sent to Brigid Maher by FRIDAY 1 JUNE.

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Flourishing in Italian: approaches to teaching and learning

The latest Special Issue (40:2) of the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, entitled ‘Flourishing in Italian. Positive Psychology approaches to the teaching and learning of Italian in Australia‘ and edited by Antonia Rubino (Sydney), Antonella Strambi (Flinders) and Vincenza Tudini (South Australia),  presents innovative applications of a Positive Language Education perspective to the teaching and learning of Italian in Australia. The issue is based on papers presented at the ACIS Conferences in Adelaide (2013) and Sydney (2015), which highlight a shared interest in the contribution of L2 teaching and learning to students’ pychological, emotional, and social wellbeing, referred to as flourishing (Seligman, 2012). This Special Issue demonstrates the innovative power and responsiveness of Italian language teaching and research to international trends in education; it offers examples of how Positive Psychology can address the widespread concern for student wellbeing by informing L2 teaching and learning and by constituting a solid research framework.       Continue reading

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Lectureship in Italian Studies at ANU

The Australian National University will appoint a Lecturer in Italian Studies (Level B, fixed term 3 years) who has an active research agenda in one or more of the following areas: translation studies; film and media studies, Italian literature, theatre and/or cultural studies, or cross-cultural communication. The position is located in the School of  Literature, Languages and Linguistics; the capacity to teach into the School’s other Modern European Language programs may be an advantage. The appointee will be expected to take on the role of Convenor of Italian Studies and contribute to the School’s teaching programs in Italian Studies and in his or her area of specialisation at all levels (undergraduate, Honours, MA and PhD).  The closing date for applications, submitted online here,  is 18 March 2018.   Continue reading

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Part-time position in Italian Studies, University of Melbourne

The Italian discipline in the School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne, is seeking to appoint a part-time Lecturer (level B, 0.5 FTE) in Italian Studies. The successful applicant will contribute to undergraduate teaching in Italian and European Studies subjects and will be active in supervising honours and graduate research.  The full position description and selection criteria can be found here. The closing date for applications is 30 January 2018.

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New research on Italian L2 learning

Marinella Caruso   University of Western Australia

What is one of the most challenging and neglected aspects of second language pedagogy and at the same time a key component of acquisition? Despite Krashen’s (1981) early discoveries that comprehension is at the centre of the language acquisition process, listening continues to be treated as the ‘Cinderella of the four macro-skills’ (Flowerdew and Miller 2005, p. xi). Recently a group from the University of Western Australia published its research into ways of using technology for the development and assessment of listening skills in Italian L2 in the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice (2017,14,1), available here. Having conceptualised listening as a process rather than a product, they designed a set of online quizzes to teach ab initio students how to listen.    Continue reading

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