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Australia has a reputation for sustained work in language policy and has had over 20 years of experience of language policy development. During these years, language policies have sought to increase and reshape languages education in Australian schools, but have had only limited success in achieving their objectives. This means that Australia's extensive work in language policy has not yet guaranteed a secure place for languages within education. After a period of comparative neglect of languages and multiculturalism, Australia is now entering a new phase of activity in language policy and it is timely to consider critically what has and has not been achieved to date and the reasons why. The aim of this book is to examine the current state, nature, role and purposes of languages in Australian education as a basis for considering a viable, encompassing language education policy. The book is divided into four specific focus areas for discussion, each of which is based on a core theme in Australian languages education: engaging with diversity; the current state of policy and participation in languages education and languages teacher education; current orientations to languages education, and future possibilities and directions in languages education. Underlying the discussion is the recognition that at this particular juncture in languages education policy in Australia it is necessary to re-examine constructs, research, evidence and practice as the basis for renewal. The book presents a collection of papers dealing with each of the themes and aims to give greater focus to the contemporary debates around languages in education in Australia and more generally.
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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