Melbourne, April 12, 2010 : Prof. Anil Sarwal of the Department of English, DAV College, Chandigarh, was invited to present a paper at the recently concluded ‘2010 Global Language Convention’ held at the Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia from April 8–11, 2010, on the theme of “Many cultures, one community: language, knowing and power”. 28 countries, 17 universities, over 140 schools from around the world, and Education departments from overseas and Australia were represented at the Convention. About 280 delegates attended the convention.
The title of Prof. Sarwal’s research paper was “Exploring the Teaching and Learning of English as a Universal Auxiliary Language through the Developmental Approach in a Multi-cultural and Technologically Immersive Environment in Semi-urban and Rural Areas”.
Prof. Sarwal reviewed the whole of the teaching learning scene in India since the 17th century and made a case for teaching English as a Universal Auxiliary Language beginning with English loan words found in the regional languages in India. He has made a list of more than 1,000 such common words that could exist in all languages in the country such as driver, conductor, bus, car, computer, shampoo, doctor, etc. The advantage of the new methodology—that focuses on the holistic development of the learners by including lessons rich in human values, local and other cultures, and service activities—is that it would not threaten the existence of regional languages as is ocurring now. At present, according to a UNESCO report, 196 Indian languages are endangered and many thousands of languages over the entire world are in the category. Also, it is now being increasingly realised that mono-lingualism should be replaced by, at the least, bilingualism in all the schools of the world. This is the current policy in Australia. There is a movement towards the critical and creative use of the languages ‘challenging and dismantling the hegemony of English in its conventional forms and uses.’
Prof. Anil Sarwal said that he would like to establish a forum entitled ‘Culture, Language and Identity’ when he returns home on April 20.
The areas covered in the convention included: ‘From Text to Message – Literature, media & communication cultures for C21 Learning’; ‘Language Loss and Reclamation’; ‘ Taking responsibility for the 2nd Language Learner in the Mainstream Language Environment – challenges, issues and trends in EAL, EFL, ESL, etc.’; ‘ The Brain, Learning and Language – traversing the journey from myth through policy development to implementation’; ‘Multilingual matters – beyond making the case for learning more than one language’; ‘Defining, Developing, Refining, Maintaining the Mother Tongue’; and ‘Every teacher is a language teacher – critical issues in managing language and learning in schools’.
The keynote speakers included: Mr Patrick Dodson – Australia’s ‘Father of Reconciliation’ and 2008 Sydney Peace Prize Winner; Professor Ato Quayson – Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto, Canada; Professor Joseph Lo Bianco AM, FACE, FAHA – Chair of Language and Literacy Education, University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor in Language Education, University of Hong Kong; Dr Nicholas Tate – Director-General, International School of Geneva, Switzerland; and Prof Alastair Pennycook, Professor of Language Studies, University of Technology, Sydney .
The 2010 Global Language Convention also included presentations by the International Baccalaureate Organization, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the Australian Premiere of Speaking in Tongues: Winner of the Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Festival and a special colloquium on The impact of English on the preservation and maintenance of Indigenous and other old languages. The members of the colloquium included noted academics and indigenous leaders such as: Zane MaRhea (Senior Lecturer, Education Faculty, Monash University), Maryam Ismail (Monash University), Ghil’ad Zuckermann (Associate Professor University of Queensland & Australian Research Council Discovery Fellow in Linguistics), Baressa Frazer (Puuch Clan woman from the Wik country of Aurukun), and Henry Atkinson (Monash University and Elder). All the presentations were recorded by the ABC Radio National, Australia.