Saturday 22 July 2023

Theme: Navigating the Challenges in Community Languages Education

Close to 300 participants attended the 2023 Victorian State Community Language Schools Conference at RMIT Storey Hall, held two weeks ago on Saturday, July 8, 2023.

The Conference commenced with the resounding singing of the National Anthem, Welcome to Country, by Prof Mark Rose, an overview of CLV and CLA activities presented by Stefan Romaniw, OAM Executive Director Community Languages Australia (CLA), and finally, a vote of thanks from CLV President Mr Tassos Douvartzides.

This year's Conference focused on Navigating the Challenges in Community Languages Education. Practitioners, teachers, instructors, and former students presented their vision, practices, and advice.

The Conference again showed community language school teachers and instructors' commitment to striving for ongoing improvement in teaching and learning.

The keynote address by Ms Heba El-Hakim, on the
Quality Assurance Framework, From Theory to Practice, the newly revised QAF and using the 8 Dimensions of framework and the steps towards implementing the framework, and how to embed it into the school's culture and ethos were presented.

The Conference heard the voices of former students from different community language schools who have lived and enjoyed the experience of the community language school.

Professional Development Workshops were held themed around the 8 Dimensions of the QAF and were delivered by Dr. Jing Qi, Ms. Sarah Pavy, Dr. Teresa De Fazio, Dr. Bill Rogers, Ms. Matoula Douvartzides, Ms. Majida Ali and Ms. Neda Erjaei.

Ms. Kylie Witt, Languages Unit Manager at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), spoke about the Permission to Teach VCE Languages process. Close to 2,500 students are enrolled in VCE languages Units 1&2 and 3&4.

CLA Board members from several States and Territories also attend. The CLSSA Executive Officer Brett Shuttleworth provided information on the up-and-coming National CLA Conference in Adelaide on 22-23 September.

A panel discussion, facilitated by Ms. Heba El-Hakim, followed by Q&A from the floor with a vibrant exchange of ideas to tackle some challenges, was an excellent way to close the Conference.

"We are blessed to have such a vibrant sector, which contributes so much to language and culture maintenance in this country. I often compare the work we do in the languages area to having a car. Having one language; we have a four-cylinder; when we have more than one language, we have a stronger vehicle as a 6- or 8-cylinder car. It is more powerful", said Mr. Tassos Douvartzides, CLV President.

Click here to view 2023 Victorian CLA Conference image gallery

Kind regards,
Heba El-Hakim, BSc, MBA
Communications Officer

Community Languages Victoria
Level 2, 189 Faraday Street
Carlton Victoria 3053
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