Improving the Language Learning and Technology Connection

Identifying and Understanding Current Challenges to Broadband Enabled Language Learning in Regional, Rural and Urban Schools in Victoria

Languages education is a national key learning area for all Australian students. The Victorian government has a strategy for compulsory languages education from 2015 in an effort to reverse a recent pattern of marked decline in language provision, especially in primary schools. In realising this vision regional, rural and disadvantaged urban schools are most likely to struggle with provision of language education due to the challenges of teacher supply.

Broadband technologies potentially allow for language learning in a range of different ways. This project explores the best approaches for the use of technology in language learning. The project will also examine how best to ensure viability over the longer term and ascertain the requirements for teacher and resource development to ensure the effective use of technology to support language learning.

The project is examining four networks of schools and how each has approached the challenge of introducing languages education. The first network revolves around a small, regional school offering language programs through video conferencing to 12 different schools across Victoria. The second network uses a blended approach to languages learning, with each school rotating through face-to-face and online language learning, with the teacher physically moving location each week. The third network is urban and is advanced in the use of and integration of technologies and language education reflecting best practice. The final network provides an illustration of the challenges facing rural schools.

Researchers are currently undertaking data analysis to develop a set of guidelines to inform the effective development of tools, technologies and policy to deliver languages education to all Victorian school children.

This project has received extensive support from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood.



IBES Seed Funding 2013


February 2015