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হ্যালো, હેલ્લો, γεια σας, hola, kaixo, 你好, ahoj, नमस्ते, szia, สวัสดี, hallo, bonjour, dia duit, ಹಲೋ, ஹலோ, مرحبا (to be continued)…

Interest in Australian approaches to languages education comes from every corner of the world. Over the three months this site has been in existence, its 317 viewers have come from 18 different countries including Peru, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Indonesia, Canada and the US. Although Australian visitors are in the majority, I’m amazed at the attention from international audiences. I imagine Peruvian, Arabian, Hungarian and Canadian viewers monitoring the development of multilingual learning in Australian schools. I marvel at Taiwanese and Czech visitors reading about our humble seminar.

More than anything I’m impatient to publish the sights and and sounds that emerge from the seminar on April 18. International visitors will hopefully return from Bahrain, UK, New Zealand, India, Qatar, Greece and Switzerland to find out more.  Hear from Simone Smala and Maria Gindidis about how language learning can be woven through the school curriculum to prepare students for life in a global society. Listen to responses to questions about how this type of education activates students’ curiosity about the world beyond English.


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Filed under Australia, bilingual education, CLIL, Content Language Integrated Learning, Education, Maria Gindidis, seminar series, Simone Smala, symposium, Uncategorized, Victoira, Victoria

Families move on languages education in Victoria

The symposium for families project started last year when a group of parents at Richmond West and Abbotsford primary schools embarked on an investigation of options for languages education in the high schools around their area.

The picture that has emerged is heartening. Victorian secondary schools are moving towards the Content and Language Integrated Learning approach that has been operating in Europe since the mid 1990s. The integration of language and content is now a key strategy of the Victorian Government’s Vision for Language Education.

Queensland has been innovative in the field of secondary level CLIL education. 12 immersion programs in languages ranging from Chinese to German operate in Queensland’s high schools.

Simone Smala, a researcher and lecturer at University of Queensland has focused her research on this type of education in Queensland’s high schools. She instigated the symposium project by offering to come to Melbourne and answer our group’s questions about language immersion programs for secondary schools.

Maria Gindidis, a researcher and lecturer at Monash University has also offered to present her work on the cognitive benefits for all students and enhanced engagement opportunities for gifted children learning in a language immersion environment.

The seminar date of April 18 was set last year. The first seminar will take place at Hawthorn Secondary College. It is hoped further seminars will take place in other parts of Melbourne and Victoria. Join our group to stay up to date with future seminar information.

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What is CLIL?

CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. The term is now used widely in Australia to describe the method of learning curriculum content (eg. science, maths, history, geography etc) via the medium of a language other than English. CLIL is often interchanged or linked to the term immersion.

CLIL is a method of language learning that is markedly different from LOTE (now referred to as Languages). One of the distinct advantages of CLIL programs is that students engage with a diverse range of authentic texts (eg. newspaper articles, films,television, radio etc ) from the target culture (eg. Taiwan, Italy or Germany). This gives them insights into cultures beyond Australia. It also provides them with a working knowledge of the types of texts their fellow students in these cultures are reading, watching or listening. This helps them to communicate with their peers down the track; via social media or face-to-face through student exchange programs.

At the 2012 MLTAV conference “Languages Without Borders” a number of sessions focus on CLIL. Two are listed here:

Viviana Golding & Kylie Farmer: CLIL in Action: The Impact of CLIL

Margaret Gearon: The potential for introducing CLIL in Victorian Schools (handout not available)

The 2012 DEECD publication, Languages 2025, mentions CLIL in the context of increasing Victorian student numbers in language studies (p 11):

“Schools and other education and training partners will need to:
– engage and use speakers of languages in their schools, in tertiary institutions, in the broader community and across the world to provide more time for languages learning and opportunities for students to use the language they are learning in real life situations;
– implement approaches, such as bilingual, immersion and content and language integrated learning (CLIL) to provide authentic language learning content and contexts”


Department for Education and Early Childhood Development (2012) Languages 2025 Draft plan for implementing the Victorian Government‟s Vision for Languages Education Communications Division for the Languages, EAL and Multicultural Strategy Division Melbourne

Modern Language Teachers’ Association Victoria Conference Workshops website viewed on November 16 2012

Smala, S & Sutherland, K (2011) A Lived Curriculum In Two Languages, Curriculum Perspectives, 31, 3.

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