Academic journal article Babel

Editorial

Academic journal article Babel

Editorial

Article excerpt

This double issue of Babel brings together eight papers which deal with a range of recurring issues for languages educators. The final five papers, including Professor Joe Lo Bianco's Keith Horwood Memorial address, were presented at the AFMLTA 17th Biennial Conference--Dialogue, Discourse, Diversity--held in Sydney in July 2009. All eight papers highlight ongoing themes for the field of languages education: the challenge of the teaching enterprise, the place of the student in language education, the development of the intercultural, the protection of languages and languages education, and the identity of the language teacher. For me, a silver thread weaving these accounts of practice and thought together is the concept of movement. Morgan describes a fascinating journal of intercultural discovery with the very young that nicely complements the case for translating and interpreting as activities at university which imply constant commuting between two languages and cultures put forward by Takimoto and Hashimoto. Morgan and Mercurio take us on a shopping spree of intercultural exploration from Indonesia to Italy and back to Australia again. The notion of movement is picked up by Hasegawa in his description of the Japanese assistant teacher program in Western Australia while Rossetto and Chiera-Macchia detail the transition from visual learning to other channels. Daly's contribution on primary languages teaching takes us across the Tasman where she describes changes in curriculum which lead to identity shifts as teachers grapple with what it means to be a teacher of languages in a primary school in New Zealand. Stracke and her collaborators also look at structural issues in their assessment of whether a commissioned report into languages teacher education has caused any movement at all--the real issue turning out to be a definitional one about what type of movement was called for in the first place. …

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