Minister launches DVD of interdisciplinary research project fostering social inclusion

Research participants: A Spanish speaking senior and a student of Spanish
Research participants: A Spanish speaking senior and a student of Spanish

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras officially launched a research project DVD on Friday 23 November at Clayton Campus.

This occasion marked a milestone of the highly successful ARC Linkage project ‘Connecting younger second language learners and older bilinguals'.

For the past three years a team of researchers from the Faculty of Arts (Dr Marisa Cordella and Dr Hui Huang from the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics) and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (Professor Colette Browning from the School of Primary Health Care), have been investigating the effects of regular meetings between Year 11 and Year 12 language learners and older migrant seniors.

This project has been an example of cross-faculty collaboration and cross-fertilisation of knowledge, where medical and linguistic approaches have been utilised to provide a comprehensive understanding of intergenerational and intercultural encounters.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Adam Shoemaker and the Deans of both Faculties (Professor Rae Frances and Professor Christina Mitchell) were invited to present the benefits of such an interdisciplinary research and to celebrate with participants, partners and supporters as well as the research team.

Research Team and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Adam Shoemaker
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Adam Shoemaker; the cross-faculty research team and school principals from research sites

“The project is a successful example of how to implement the aims set out in the Federal Government's White paper on Asia as well as the State Government's Vision for Citizenship in a Multicultural Victoria, in relation to languages education, volunteer and senior engagement and multicultural education, to foster social inclusion in a diverse multicultural community.” Dr Cordella said.

The Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras in lecture theatre in front of presentation
Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, The Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras launches the project DVD

The DVD completes a package of resources developed on the basis of research outcomes. These resources (the DVD, an interactive project website, a brochure and a KIT) have been designed to assist educators in the implementation of future similar initiatives in the wider community. A series of workshops are being offered to teachers in Victoria and other States to train them as future facilitators.

Group photo, Chinese and Spanish project participants
Research participants: Chinese and Spanish speaking senior volunteers with the research team

The celebration was held in memory of the mastermind of this project, the late Professor Michael Clyne.