Intercultural competence through language education in Australian higher education: Mission (im)possible?
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Language learning is now widely conceived as having to meet the 'twin goals' of language proficiency and intercultural competence. This interculturally-aware vision for language learners is particularly evident in Australian university policy statements and their descriptions of graduate attributes. However, for the most part, the inherent structural features of university language programs and the overall organisational philosophy of Australian universities fail to reflect a commitment to this widened educational mission. In this study I analyse these structural and organisational features through examination of three sources: a) government-commissioned reports; b) academic publications and c) news items concerning the critical state of languages education in the Australian higher education sector. I articulate the plethora of challenging, inherent limitations reported in these sources, all of which point to the absence of correlation between espoused goals and actual graduate outcomes. I then use the articulation of these limitations as a platform to question the feasibility of these 'twin goals' as they are currently conceived and realised in practice.
The Next Step: Introducing the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities - Selected Proceedings of the Inaugural LCNAU Colloquium Melbourne, 26-28 September 2011
Copyright 2011 the Commonwealth of Australia. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics