Tag Archives: language teaching

Access Granted: Modern Languages and Issues of Accessibility at University

Josh Brown/Marinella Caruso   UWA

imagesDiscussion about how to monitor and increase participation in languages study has been growing in the UK, the US and Australia, particularly in higher education. Levels of enrolment in modern languages at universities around the world have come to be described in terms of ‘crisis’ or even ‘permanent crisis’. In Australia the new degree structures implemented by the University of Melbourne in 2008 and the University of Western Australia in 2012 have bucked this trend. The reforms introduced by those two universities have led to unprecedented levels of enrolment in languages, and are the focus of current research we are undertaking at UWA. The question of how to increase access to language study will be the subject of an article to appear in the journal Language Learning in Higher Education later this year.

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New Honorary Research Associates

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ACIS is very pleased that Josh Brown and Alessandro Carrieri have accepted appointments as Honorary Research Associates. Dr Brown has interests in language in both historical and contemporary contexts. Using materials from the archives of merchants, he has analysed variations in language use in 14thC and 15thC Milan; he has written on the life and letters of a cardinal in mid-19thC Western Australia; and he has explored factors in Italian language enrolments in current tertiary education. Dr Carrieri, whose doctoral research was on music, memory and resistance among Jewish musicians in concentration camps and ghettos, has been a Visiting Research Fellow in Holocaust Studies at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (Monash). His current research concerns the history of the persecution and expulsion of Italian Jewish musicians and composers from conservatories and theatres during Fascist rule; he has recently organised a conference in Trieste on that topic.

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Transnational Italian Studies: Summer School in Venice, 21-24 September 2015

logo_withtextThe Transnationalizing Modern Languages project, based at the University of Warwick, invites applications from PhD students for its upcoming Summer School Transnational Italian Studies to be held in Venice, 21-24 September 2015. The Summer School provides an intensive four-day learning experience for a maximum of 15 students  interested in the study of Italian language and culture from a transnational perspective. The program consists of master-classes, lectures and roundtables given by international experts, as well as sessions in which students will have the opportunity to share their research and gain feedback from lecturers and peers. Participants will be presented with an array of innovative theoretical and methodological instruments which will enable them to analyse linguistic and cultural exchanges with a specific focus on modern Italy. They will also undertake a small research project in sites around Venice to put  these new tools into practice.

Bursaries covering accommodation expenses, lunch and tuition fees will be available. Further details on the course and the application procedure can be found here. The application deadline is 30 April 2015.
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Teaching Italian – global and national perspectives

550x150v5Coinciding with the XIV edition of the Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo, the Stati Generali della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo is taking place in Florence this week (21-22 October) with the theme L’italiano nel mondo che cambia. As a basis for the discussions, statistics on the current global position of Italian language teaching have been produced and documents on strategies for the future have been presented. The Accademia della Crusca has simultaneously launched an e-volume, L’editoria italiana nell’era digitale, which examines the history of the book and publishing in Italy and contains interviews with Italy’s major lexicographers (including Tullio De Mauro and Raffaele Simone). In Australia the place of Italian in schools and universities has recently been discussed by John Hajek and Joe Lo Bianco who examine the reasons for the current decline in its popularity and suggest strategies to reverse it.

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Blogs we like #3

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Rita Wilson has signalled Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2015: Art, Music, Text as a blog Italianists will be interested in. Its basis is an international research project, involving the UK, US and Italy, funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) networking grant which “brings together musicians, academics, museum curators, artists and teachers interested in 20th and 21st century culture in Italy. We are exploring the relations between the arts in modern and contemporary Italy and how this influences the teaching of Italian in Universities and schools…”. The website has a full description of the project, the people involved and the workshops they are organising for 2013.

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