Languages Policy & Advocacy

Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities

The Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities is the outcome of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) funded project which aims to lead the development of a stronger languages culture in higher education in Australia.

Having emerged from work first begun by the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the project will work to develop a coordinated national approach to language education and scholarship in Australian universities by building strategic leadership across disciplines and institutions. The LCNAU serves, among other things, to raise the profile of language educators and public awareness of the cultural, strategic and economic importance of language education for Australia.

Beyond the Crisis: Revitalising Languages in Australian Universities

Organised by the Language Studies Committee of the Academy, the Beyond the Crisis colloquium was held at the University of Melbourne 16-18 February 2009 and brought together more than 140 teachers, researchers and administrators from 30 institutions to contribute to the development of a stronger culture of languages in higher education in Australia. 

The National Languages Summit

The Languages in Crisis: National Languages Summit was held 7 June 2007 at the National Press Club, Canberra. It was convened by the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Group of Eight Universities as a strategic contribution to a developing national discussion on the urgent need for policy leadership and action on Australia’s language capability.

It brought together over 150 leaders from across the Australian community with an interest and expertise in language learning, including teachers, academics, public servants, the media, members of the defence forces, and representatives of industry and ethnic communities.

The Summit agreed that the development of Australia’s language capability is firmly and urgently in our national interest. Australia needs a comprehensive, coordinated languages plan to develop this capability in a sensible fashion. This policy should be broad-based and should involve a range of languages including Australian Indigenous languages, as well as Asian, Middle-Eastern and European languages.


  • Report on Beginners’ LOTE (Languages Other than English) in Australian Universities: An Audit Survey and Analysis (2008): the Academy's ARC-funded survey of  beginners’ language provision across the Australian university sector [.pdf 500KB].
  • An Analysis of Retention Strategies and Technology Enhanced Learning in Beginners' Languages Other Than English (LOTE) at Australian Universities (2009): the Academy's ARC-funded study was undertaken by a team based at the University of Melbourne, led by Professor Colin Nettelbeck FAHA [.pdf 6.6MB].
  • Communiqué of the Languages in Crisis: National Languages Summit (2007) [.pdf 32KB].
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