Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 13, 2023

Reimagining narratives of Asian language education in Australian universities

INTRODUCTION – Changing one’s world view: the potentially transformative power of Asian language(s) and culture(s)

Learning an Asian language can serve as a bulwark against rising nationalism and xenophobia.

  • Dr Jun Ohashi

WEBINAR: How learning Asian languages changes your worldview

Panellists discuss gaining new levels of personal inter-connectedness and cultural understanding through language learning.

Invigorating Indonesian studies in Australia through collaborative, online education practices

Indonesian student numbers in Australia have been in freefall for decades. What can be done about it?

Queering Hindi as a foreign language

Hindi, like any language, is capable of describing the whole diversity of human experience, and the classroom is the perfect space to affirm this.

Australia would be a better regional neighbour if it were better at Asian languages

Enrolments in Asian language programs in Australia are too low. A look at why Japanese has been so successful may help.

Fitting in at last? Learners of Japanese as community language in search of belonging and legitimacy

JCL learners need to be recognised not as problems but assets with the potential to become a bridge between Japan and Australia.

What motivates students to study Chinese at Australian universities and did this change during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Chinese is classified as one of Australia’s most important strategic Asian languages, but currently students' motivations are not properly considered.

Edition 13, March 2023: Reimagining narratives of Asian language education in Australian universities

How well does Australia know China?

Enrollments in Chinese Honours programs have fallen off a cliff in the past ten years or so.

INTERVIEW: Is Asian Studies and ‘Asia literacy’ in crisis in Australia and what is its future?

Government needs to signal to universities that Asia literacy is a skill-set employers want.

The importance of fitting society and culture into Australian university language courses

Language learning should facilitate cultural understanding and this requires contentious aspects of culture to be examined.

The Korean language is booming at Australian universities. What needs to be done to keep the momentum going?

Korean is increasingly popular at Australian universities, but more needs to be done to recruit and keep students.

What motivates Japanese language learners in Australia and beyond?

The common promotional discourses of ‘employability’ and ‘international trade’ related to Japanese language learning do not reflect learners’ motivations.

Towards a global approach to teaching Arabic in Australian universities

Arabic language teaching in Australia should focus more on the culture and global impact of Arabic than its utilitarian value.

Beyond ‘Asian’ language skills: Indonesian learning for a more just and equitable society

In the century ahead, we will need ‘practical’ solutions, but underlying this is our capacity to work with one another, to share and create knowledge and adapt to new ways of being.

Why the history and context of words are important – the example of ‘xiansheng’

Unless language students are taught the history and context of words, cultural misunderstanding occurs.

Book Review

Cadre Country: How China became the Chinese Communist Party by John Fitzgerald

Important for understanding the modern day CCP, especially in the context of Australia’s ongoing debate of how to best engage with China.