Academic journal article Babel

From the Editor

Academic journal article Babel

From the Editor

Article excerpt

The Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning in Practice (ILTLP) Project is a landmark production in a number of ways. Firstly, it had its genesis in a quite remarkable document, The National Statement and Plan for Languages Education in Australian Schools 2005-2008 (MCEETYA, 2005), a new, theoretically sound, and practical vision of what should and could be achieved in our field, which was signed by every Education Minister in the country--Federal, State, and Territory. The shared level of understanding involved in jointly agreeing to the complex set of actions to be undertaken is very encouraging.

Secondly, the adoption of ILTLP across the whole country constitutes a fundamental shift in the orientation of language teaching and learning beyond the communicative approach of the last 20 years. It realises in comprehensive and integrated ways a range of research and reflection done over more than a decade by scholars and practitioners in sociolinguistics, communicative language teaching, and intercultural communication. Like all such changes on this scale, it presents exciting but challenging new work for teachers and students. Nobody is more aware of this than the team that developed the project and introduced ILTLP to Australian teachers and school administrators. We are very pleased to have been able to obtain for Babel papers written by several members of that team and to present them here in a single dedicated issue, just as ILTLP starts to become the nationally adopted approach to language teaching and learning. …

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