The language(s) of social inclusion

A Spanish-speaking senior and a student of Spanish at the event.
Research participants: A Spanish speaking senior and a student of Spanish at the launch of the project DVD, 23 November 2012

November 2012, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, The Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras launches project DVD

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras officially launched a research project DVD on last month at Clayton.

This occasion marked a milestone of the highly successful ARC Linkage project ‘Connecting younger second language learners and older bilinguals’.

For the past three years a team of researchers from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (Dr Marisa Cordella and Dr Hui Huang from the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, and Professor Colette Browning from the School of Primary Health Care) have been investigating the effects of regular meetings between Year 11 and Year 12 language learners and older migrant seniors.

The project has been an example of cross-faculty collaboration and cross-fertilisation of knowledge, where medical and linguistic approaches have been utilised to provide a comprehensive understanding of intergenerational and intercultural encounters.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Adam Shoemaker and the Deans of both Faculties – Professor Rae Frances and Professor Christina Mitchell – were invited to present the benefits of such interdisciplinary research and to celebrate with participants, partners and supporters as well as the research team.

“The project is a successful example of how to implement the aims set out in the Federal Government’s White paper on Asia as well as the State Government’s Vision for Citizenship in a Multicultural Victoria, in relation to languages education, volunteer and senior engagement and multicultural education, to foster social inclusion in a diverse multicultural community.” Dr Cordella said.

The DVD completes a package of resources developed on the basis of research outcomes. These resources (the DVD, an interactive project website, a brochure and a kit) have been designed to assist educators in the implementation of similar future initiatives in the wider community. A series of workshops is being offered to teachers in Victoria and other states to train them as future facilitators.

All resources and more information are available on the website.

The celebration was held in memory of the mastermind of this project, the late Professor Michael Clyne.