Federation of Community Language Schools holds a successful conference at Sydney university

The NSW Federation of Community Language Schools Inc. held its Annual State Conference and Professional Development day at the University of Sydney on Saturday 28th of April 2018. It was a packed event with language teachers, students learning various languages, politicians, diplomats and academics who enlightened the audience on how languages are being taught in todays’ world of technology.

The first Keynote Speaker was Emeritus Professor David Nunan, a world renowned authority on Languages and one of his books ‘Go For It’ has sold 4 billion copies and the second Keynote Speaker was Professor Ingrid Piller, an award winning internationally known author and linguist.   There were another 29 eminent presenters with further 33 workshops delivered.

Professor Nunan advocates global classrooms through technology although supports actual physical classrooms that exist within the confines of traditional space but says that it would be a mistake to say that learnings only happens there. According to him the learning happens in the head.  Intentional learning can happen through a self-study program devised by the student. Intentional teaching (and hopefully learning) occurs when a teacher and one or more pupils gather together for the purposes of mastering a new skill or a body of knowledge. However, intentional learning can also happen without the mediation of a teacher.

“Due to the technological revolution and the wonders of the Internet, the gathering of teachers and those willing to learn does not require them to occupy the same physical space. They can come together virtually, and this type of teaching is becoming increasingly common,” he says.

Ingrid Piller is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, where she previously served as Executive Director of the Adult Migrant English Program Research Centre (AMEP RC). Author of the book ‘Intercultural Communications’, Professor Piller also runs a blog – Language on The Move which for the first time is conductiing The  Language on the Move Reading Challenge 2018  devoted to, well, language on the move. “By that we mean the sociolinguistics of intercultural communication, language learning, and multilingualism in contexts of migration and globalization,” says Professor Piller.

Guests who graced the conference were: The Hon. Victor Dominello, MP;The Hon Ray Williams MP;Mr Jihad DIB MP;Mr Mark Coure, MP;Mr John Sidoti, MP;The Hon David J. Clarke MLC;Ms Jodi L. McKay MP;The Hon Ernest K. C. Wong MLC; and Consul Generals of Japan, Turkey, Poland and Vice Consul of Russia in Sydney. “We are very delighted and honoured with the attendance of the VIPs at this year’s conference,” said Mr Albert Vella OAM, President of the Federation.

“This year’s conference was by far the largest and most successful we have ever held with 667 participants and we would like to thank the participants that attended the conference” said Michael Christodoulou AM ”“ Executive Officer of the NSW FCLS Inc.


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