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What Works 1: Building demand for Asia literacy in Australian schools

Building demand for Asia literacy in Australian schools explores how schools in Australia can build demand for studies of Asia and Asian languages among students and the broader school community. The research addresses the challenge of fluctuating demand for Asia literacy in schools, despite over twenty years of policy and efforts.

What Works 1 has identified the following enablers to build demand for studies of Asia:

  • A persuasive personal encounter
  • A clear course of action
  • Collegial influence and support.

Key findings

For Asian languages, the following motives and enablers were identified:

  • The prospect of making new friends
  • Satisfying natural or awakened curiosity about other countries and their inhabitants
  • The prospect of travel
  • Instrumental reasons related to life and work futures, especially for older students
  • Quality nature of the classroom experience, especially one that is responsive to student needs and interests
  • Effective motivational strategies including promoting learner autonomy, learners' goal-orientedness, and familiarising learners with the target culture.

Importantly, the research argues that studies of Asia can help build and sustain demand for Asian languages.


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Images: AEF

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