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 7, 2021

The politics of language learning in Asia

Australia needs to make languages compulsory

If Australia really wants to increase its literacy in Asian and other languages it needs to make language learning compulsory in Australian schools.

  • Professor Joe Lo Bianco

English language education in China is being challenged as against Chinese culture

English language education is getting increasingly political within China as US–China rivalry intensifies.

Are ‘advanced’ Japanese language programs sustainable? A look at Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

Beyond Demon Slayer and Pokemon what motivates students and how can that knowledge help universities to build the best language programs?

Language is important in the prosecution of conflicts, particularly in the Middle East

Language provides an echo chamber for political conflict through its role as a symbol that conveys extra-linguistic meanings.

Taiwan transitions and tribal tongues: From the language of reconciliation to the revitalisation of language?

Taiwan's indigenous languages have suffered under various colonial regimes. Can they be revived?

A letter to Australia: The Asia-literacy conversation we’re not having

A new draft Australian Curriculum has been released for debate. It's time for a genuine focus on Asian engagement.

Language education policy in Nepal and the denial of the right to speak in Indigenous languages

English as a medium of instruction in Nepal is violating students’ ‘right to speak’ in their home languages.

Book Review

‘Language Policy in Superdiverse Indonesia’ by Subhan Zein

Few have investigated the underpinnings of Indonesia's language policy as thoroughly as Zein.

Edition 7, 2021

The politics of language learning in Asia

INTRODUCTION: The contemporary challenges facing plurilingual societies

The power structures needed to create and enforce common systems of communication can simultaneously disadvantage others.

COVID-19 underlines the importance of learning languages via emerging technologies

Language educators need to seriously take new technologies into account.

Learning Asian languages is about much more than trade and employability and universities should convey this

Australian universities should play an important role in articulating the educational value of foreign language learning beyond the ‘employability’ discourse.

The potential risks of standardising China’s translated foreign affairs discourse

Translation standardisation is seen as a way of managing the risk of mis-translation, but it doesn't necessarily produce the best translations

A reflection on language and identity in Indonesia

A personal illustration of the interconnectedness between language and identity as dynamic entities.

Learning how to say ‘you’ in Indonesian: why it’s time to embrace its complexity

There is a seemingly simple aspect of Indonesian that eludes learners: how to say ‘you’ to an addressee.

Pakistan should properly adopt Urdu as its national language to help overcome inequality

Nations advance materially, economically and scientifically when they educate students in their national language.

The necessity of teaching online during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in better Japanese language teaching

The online environment can't replicate all aspects of classroom language instruction, but online education does have benefits.

Pakistan needs a multilingual education model to protect minority language groups

English and Urdu are dominant in Pakistan's education system and other languages have been neglected or marginalised.