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Produced by Asia Education Foundation, this digest shares recent research relevant to fostering the development of Asian languages and studies, and intercultural understanding in Australian schools.

January 2015 edition

Journal articles

Knowing Asia: creative policy translation in an Australian school setting

Salter, P. (2014). Knowing Asia: creative policy translation in an Australian school setting. Journal of Education, 29 (2), 145–164.

This article examines how 'knowing Asia' has been translated into educational practice within one high school in Queensland. Based on an explorative case study, the author argues that school leaders play a key role in proactively implementing school and curriculum changes aimed at promoting Asia literacy among students and the broader school community. The article includes references to various AEF programmes and publications on the promotion of Asia literacy in Australian schools.

Practical relevance
Salter's article is particularly relevant to the implementation of the Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia cross-curriculum priority in the Australian Curriculum. It also resonates with the Australian Professional Standard for Principals, especially in relation to principals' capacity to lead 'improvement, innovation and change'.

Are Australian fans of anime and manga motivated to learn Japanese language?

Armour, W. S., & Iida, S. (2014). Are Australian fans of anime and manga motivated to learn Japanese language? Asia Pacific Journal of Education, DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2014.922459

The article discusses the findings of an empirical study that examined the claimed link between interest in Japanese popular culture (e.g. manga and anime) and learning Japanese. Based on an online survey of 451 manga and anime fans from Australia, the study showed that interest in Japanese popular culture does not necessarily lead to the formal study of Japanese. However, interest in manga and anime plays a more important role than career considerations in motivating young people to learn Japanese.

Practical relevance
This article provides teaching and learning considerations for Japanese language educators, especially in the context of rethinking ways to motivate students to commence, or continue with, Japanese language study.

Book chapters

New Horizons in Web Based Learning (ICWL 2014 International Workshops), Tallinn, Estonia, August 14-17

Cao, Y et al. (eds.). New Horizons in Web Based Learning (ICWL 2014 International Workshops), Tallinn, Estonia, August 14-17. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer

This edited volume brings together selected papers presented at the 13th International Conference on Web-based Learning. The following two articles are particularly relevant to (Chinese) language learning.

Lan, Y., Sung, Y, & Chang, K. (2014). Bridging in-and-out Class Learning: Mobile Seamless Mandarin Learning (pp. 101–105)

Forty-one overseas Chinese students participated in this study, which utilised mobile seamless learning technology to enhance their Mandarin performances. The performances were collected and analysed to determine the effects of mobile seamless learning on Mandarin Chinese learning by overseas Chinese students. The results demonstrate the usefulness of mobile seamless learning technology in bridging the gaps between learning inside and outside of the classroom.

Lee, Y. et al. (2014). A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Learning Languages with Mobile Devices (pp. 106–113)

Based on a meta-analysis of 44 peer-reviewed journal articles (1993–2013), the authors highlight that mobile devices substantially support language learning, providing opportunities for real-time, interactive learning. In contrast to more traditional methods, the use of mobile devices facilitates, on average, more effective language learning and higher levels of student achievement.

Practical relevance
ICT capability is a general capability in the Australian Curriculum, and the use of ICT can play an important role in enhancing the language learning experience for students. Language educators should explore ways to utilise ICT meaningfully in their lessons and seek additional professional learning, where required, on the effective use of mobile devices in the language classroom. AEF's What Works 4: Using ICT in schools to support the development of Asia-relevant capabilities provides some useful insights, too.


The views expressed within this update, or any of the articles it contains, do not necessarily represent those of AEF or the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

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