Keynote Speakers ACTA 2014

--- ACTA 2014 CONFERENCE BANNERProfessor Viv Edwards

------ Viv Edwards Keynote photo


'Doing school': Cross cultural encounters

In this presentation, a series of vignettes will be used to explore important current challenges in TESOL. These vignettes will be drawn from many different settings, including Bengali, Urdu and Chinese speaking children in UK primary schools, African-American students in the US and Chinese teachers of English on courses in Higher Education. A number of themes run through these different contexts: What counts as literacy and learning? What are the expectations of the students and, in the case of school children, their parents? How do these differ from those of their teachers? What power issues shape these expectations? Do learning materials and approaches match student needs? In answering these questions, emphasis will be placed on the dangers of ‘othering’ and the importance of syncretic approaches that recognize and build on student experience.

Day 1 - Tuesday 30 September, Plenary Room

Viv Edwards is Professor of Language in Education at the University of Reading where she is also Director of the National Centre for Language and Literacy. She is editor of the international journal, Language and Education, and has published widely in the area of learning and teaching in multilingual classrooms. Her publications include Learning to be literate: multilingual perspectives (Multilingual Matters, 2009), Multilingualism in the English-speaking world (Blackwell 2004; British Association of Applied Linguistics Book of the Year, 2005) and The Power of Babel: teaching and learning in multilingual classrooms (Trentham 1998). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

 Professor Amy Tsui

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Educating the global citizen: Policy and practice in Asian contexts - Link to Presentation

It is now widely recognized that bilingual competence is the basic attribute of a global citizen. Equipping every citizen with bilingual, and even multilingual, competence is high on the agenda of all education policy makers. In this presentation, I shall provide an overview of recent developments in language policies in Asian countries to meet the challenges posed by globalization, how policies have been translated into practice in the education sectors, and the issues that have arisen from implementation. I will also review some of the common models of bilingual education that have been trialed and implemented. I will point out that despite enormous resources committed by governments, research findings are often inconclusive and sometimes even conflicting. I will explore the mediating factors that might impact on the efficacy of bilingual education and what ESL teachers need to be aware of as they engage in helping students acquire ESL competence in the context of bilingual education.

Day 3 - Thursday 2 October, 8.55 - 10.00am, Room: 105/106

Professor Amy B.M. Tsui currently holds the position of Chair Professor (language and education) in the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She obtained her PhD in linguistics in 1986 at The University of Birmingham, UK, and has published widely in the areas of language policy, ESL teacher education, classroom discourse, and conversational analysis. From 2007-2014, Professor Tsui was Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) of HKU. She led the historical reform of three-year to four-year undergraduate education at HKU and oversaw teaching and learning quality at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels. She has presented numerous keynotes in international conferences in Asia, including Japan, S. Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Brunei, Taiwan and China, and also in Australia, S. Africa, U.K., Europe, Mexico and the U.S.. She serves on the editorial / advisory boards of a number of international refereed journals. She has published 8 books and nearly 100 journal papers and book chapters. Her more recent books include Understanding Expertise in Teaching: Case Studies of ESL Teachers (2003), by Cambridge University Press, Classroom Discourse and the Space of Learning (2004), co-authored with Ference Marton et al., by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Medium of Instruction Policy: Whose Agenda? Which Agenda (2004), co-edited with James Tollefson, by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Language Policy, Culture and Identity in Asian Contexts (2007), co-edited with James Tollefson, by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (now Routledge) and, Learning in School-University Partnership: Sociocultural Perspectives (2009), lead author, by Routledge.

Professor Ester de Jong

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Taking a multilingual view on language teacher preparation

In this presentation, I examine the role of multilingualism to prepare (mainstream) teachers for working with bilingual learners. In the United States, the mainstreaming of English language learners has received a great push under accountability systems. As a result, there has been an increase in attention to how to best prepare mainstream, general education teachers, for linguistic and cultural diversity. The monolingual framework that tends to accompany this preparation runs the risk, however, of leaving out specific attention to basic principles for quality education for bilingual learners that we have learned from bilingual education settings, i.e., affirming identities, promoting additive bi/multilingualism, and structuring for integration. I will discuss how these principles apply in multilingual settings and consider implications for language teacher preparation for diverse primary and secondary classrooms.

Day 3 - Thursday 2 October, 1.25 - 2.30pm, Room: 105/106

Ester J. de Jong is Professor of ESOL/Bilingual Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Her research interests include language policy, bilingual education, and mainstream teacher preparation for bilingual learners. Her book, Foundations of Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice (Caslon Publishing), focuses on working with multilingual children in K-12 schools. Her work has been published in the Bilingual Research Journal, the International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, Language Policy, Language and Education.

Professor Chris Davison

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Assessing learners from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds: Challenging the dominant paradigm and practices

The growing emphasis on benchmarking student performance against standardized assessment outcomes has created particular difficulties for those of us working with learners from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Research has demonstrated that to make both trustworthy and pedagogically useful assessment decisions, teachers of such students need to have a deep understanding of assessment for learning principles as well as access to a bank of appropriate assessment tools and tasks, exemplars and work samples, and networks of supportive and engaged peers. This plenary will highlight the theoretical and practical aims of a project commissioned by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), the Catholic Education Commission, Victoria (CECV) and Independent Schools, Victoria (ISV) to develop an innovative e-based toolkit of assessment tools and advice to assist teachers in developing pedagogically sound and useful approaches to assessing the English language development of EAL/D students across all years in Victorian schools. The various challenges involved in assessing language in the content areas and in supporting teacher-assessors with variable level of language knowledge and skills and assessment literacy will also be explored.

Day 2 - Wednesday 1 October, 9 - 10am, Room: 105/106

Professor Chris Davison is Head, School of Education, UNSW, an Honorary Professor, University of Hong Kong and a past president of ACTA. She has worked in teacher education, including at Melbourne and La Trobe University, for over 30 years, and before that, as an ESL teacher and consultant in AMES, TAFE, secondary schools and English language centres. Chris has published extensively on ESL development, language and content curriculum, and English language assessment. She is a series editor for Springer’s new series on English language education and also editor and contributor to a two volume handbook on teaching English internationally (with Jim Cummins). She has undertaken large-scale curriculum and assessment projects in Hong Kong, Singapore and in Brunei, and is currently leading the research and development of a teacher-based assessment framework for EAL learners in Victorian schools, funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood (DEECD), the Catholic Education office and Independent Schools Victoria. She received an award for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education from the Australian College of Educators, Sydney Region, in 2012.

Professor Joe Lo Bianco

------ Joe Lo Bianco Plenary


English in Conflict Zones, what role for the Lingua Franca when there is lingual conflict?

This paper will discuss the shifting roles of English in SE Asian settings where national language policies have restricted the role of ethnic minority and indigenous languages and fostered universal study of English.  Specifically focusing on Myanmar/Burma, Malaysia and Thailand, and recent moves in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which have formalised English as the official language of business, the paper will discuss moral, political and pedagogical dilemmas that arise from the multiple presences of English: a language of elite currency, a language of former colonial stigma, the language of contemporary globalisation, a language with indigenised varieties resisted by local elites and often by teachers, but advancing rapidly as a language of local identities.  These various sociological presences of English will be described according to recent curriculum reform in Myanmar, teaching reform in Malaysia and status tensions in Thailand, and placed within a critical language planning framework.

Day 2 - Wednesday 1 October, 4.55 - 6pm, Room: 105/106

Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, at the University of Melbourne. In addition he serves as President of the Tsinghua University Asian-Pacific Forum on Translation and Intercultural Studies and is Immediate Past President, Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2012 he was invited by the East Asia and Pacific Regional Office of UNICEF to design and begin a research program in SE Asia on questions of language planning and social cohesion and has been conducting research in the Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand on the theme of language policy and peacebuilding. Recent publications include Language Planning and Student Experiences: Intention, Rhetoric and Implementation, with R. Aliani; Language vitality in the United States, with J. Peyton. He has more than 35 major reports and books, and over 120 publications.

Belinda Duarte

Belinda Duarte final


Contemporary Australia - What defines us and our future?

The concept of Australia’s identity is one which has evolved over time and will continue with the increased interaction with other parts of the world and growth of cultural diversity.

The fabric of culture, language and diversity is paramount to this nation’s identity. So what are the common threads that unite us defining Australia, what are the unchangeable constants, what are the opportunity that exist to build a strong contemporary Australia that is founded in lineage and the identity of who we are today?

Day 3 - Thursday 2 October, 3.55 - 5pm, Room: 105/106

Belinda Duarte is a Wotjobaluk woman born and raised in Ballarat, Victoria. As a qualified teacher and a former elite track & field athlete Belinda’s passion for sport is evident through her personal and professional life.

Her professional experience involves extensive work on boards and in managerial roles with young people, Aboriginal communities, sport & health and pathway programs in education, training & employment. Within the AFL Industry she led the development of the Indigenous Employment Program with AFL SportsReady building pathway for young Indigenous people across the country into traineeship and career pathways. More recently in her current role as the inaugural Director of the Korin Gamadji Institute based at Richmond Football Club she was awarded ‘Football Woman of the Year’ in 2012 for her leadership in establishing a facility which provides leadership, accredited training and career pathway programs for young Indigenous people together with pathway partners.

Belinda believes at the heart of effective leadership is authenticity, commitment to equality and a relentless focus on a vision which inspires you.


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