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Plenary Session [clear filter]
Saturday, May 16



Keynote 1: Sleeping Beauties Awake: Language Revival and Cultural Diversity with Ghil'ad Zuckermann
This multifaceted lecture will analyse the moral, aesthetic, epistemological, cognitive, psychological and economic benefits of language revival and diversity. With coca-colonization and homogenization there will be more and more groups added to the forlorn club of the lost-heritage peoples. Language reclamation and revitalization will become increasingly relevant as people seek to recover their cultural autonomy, empower their spiritual and intellectual sovereignty, and improve their wellbeing and mental health. There is an urgent need to offer perspicacious comparative insights, for example from the Hebrew revival, which is so far the most successful known linguistic reclamation. The lecture will explore current attempts to reclaim Australian Aboriginal languages such as Barngarla.
Given capricious governmental policies, the lecture will propose (1) ‘Native Tongue Title’, legal compensation (for linguistic activities) for Indigenous peoples who lost their tongue due to linguicide (language killing), (2) making Indigenous tongues the official languages of their region, inter alia resulting in bilingual signs, (3) Cleverly-implemented bilingual education at schools.

avatar for Ghil'ad Zuckermann

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

Professor of Linguistics & Endangered Languages, The University of Adelaide
Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann (D.Phil. Oxford) is Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide. He is President of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies (AAJS), chief Investigator on a large research project assessing language revival and mental... Read More →

Saturday May 16, 2015 9:15am - 10:30am
Upstairs in the KM Library


Keynote 2: School-based language policies: Promoting multiliteracies through inspirational pedagogy with Eithne Gallagher
Every school has a pedagogical identity. Sometimes this identity is not explicitly articulated, resulting in instructional practices that are incoherent from one classroom to another. The lecture will explore how school-based policies that respond to the “international” in International Schools can promote pedagogies that are inspirational for teachers and students alike.

avatar for Eithne Gallagher

Eithne Gallagher

Eithne Gallagher is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years’ experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee. She is a... Read More →

Saturday May 16, 2015 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Upstairs in the KM Library
Sunday, May 17



Keynote 3: English, Englishes, or Unequal Englishes? with Dr Ruanni Tupas
This keynote address raises both theoretical and practical questions about English Language Teaching today (ELT), especially because ELT is undeniably linked with critical but uneven processes and structures of globalization. I would like to approach these issues by tracking the different ways the nature of English has been defined and characterized, which thus have had massive implications for the way the language has been taught in the classroom, as well as for the way the ELT profession has conducted itself (im)properly in different contexts around the world. For a long time English has been characterized or assumed as homogeneous, thus the only standard to be used should be that of the ‘native’ white speakers of English, the classroom anywhere in the world should be English-speaking only, and the only legitimate teachers of the language are those who speak the privileged standard.
Largely because of the spread of the language across the globe through structures of imperialism and globalization, English has begun to be characterized as plural, multivoiced or heterogenous, constitutive of the cultural imprints of speakers from different parts of the world. This has led to a far more democratic and inclusive view of norms of English language use, as well as the questioning of many deep-rooted assumptions about the teaching and learning of English. English has written back against the empire, in this sense, through the many subtle and explicit ways speakers from different cultures have used English to transform or ‘mangle’ it to create authentic voices and give voice to erstwhile muted subjects of the language. ‘English’, in other words, has given way to ‘Englishes’, and one of the many victories of this paradigm has been to raise awareness of the problematic belief that competence in the teaching of English automatically means being a ‘native speaker’ of the language.
Nevertheless, with the mad rush towards English today, inequalities in the ELT profession have in fact persisted, if not widened. What Adrian Holliday calls native-speakerism embeds much of decision-making the profession today; many teachers, materials writers and ELT administrators continue to disregard the multilingual nature of most classrooms and learning contexts around the world. Yes, linguistically the Englishes of the world deserve our attention, but on the ground  these Englishes are not treated equal. How then do we deal with such a reality in the classroom? Unequal Englishes tell us many things about how, in this hugely multilingual and multicultural world, diversity and difference are treated with suspicion, if not derision, and that the so-called ‘interconnectedness’ of people and the ‘breaking down’ of boundaries between cultures which  inform our understanding of globalization are actually based on unequal terms and conditions. What beliefs and myths about English and ELT underpin our own teaching of the language? What attitudes towards diversity and difference dominate our classrooms? Who is a competent teacher of English? What is the role of students’ languages in their learning of English? This keynote address raises fundamental questions about English and ELT and hopes to open up dialogues on how these questions could be addressed through our daily struggles and victories in the classroom.

avatar for Ruanni Tupas

Ruanni Tupas

Dr. Ruanni F. TUPAS is an Assistant Professor at the English Language and Literature Academic Group of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore. Prior to his NIE position, he was Senior Lecturer at the Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) of the National University... Read More →

Sunday May 17, 2015 9:15am - 10:30am
Upstairs in the KM Library


Keynote 4: Encouraging multilingualism in the classroom with Alex Rawlings
French and German lessons at school were about a lot more than just irregular verbs and vocabulary tests for Alex. Instead they were an exciting breath of fresh air in his school timetable, offering a unique window into other worlds and a way to have contact with other people around the world, who would otherwise have remained inaccessible. In this talk Alex will discuss what motivated him to take his language lessons at school beyond the syllabus to the next level, and to go on to dedicate his life to the learning and teaching of foreign languages.

avatar for Alex Rawlings

Alex Rawlings

Alex was born and raised in London to a half-Greek mother and English father. As a child he spent his time between the UK, Greece and Japan, where his father worked for four years. Having always been surrounded by languages, he began to study them independently aged 14. In 2012, while... Read More →

Sunday May 17, 2015 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Upstairs in the KM Library