The extinction of the world’s language heritage and the issue of Language and Culture Rights: The Next Great Emancipation?

7th August 2015

- Members' Lunch with Joe Lo Bianco

"I believe that Australia lags behind many countries in recognition of language rights, yet Australia has had an impressive history of developing language policies.  Most of these policies have failed even to teach ‘foreign’ languages in our schools and have very dismally failed to support the hundreds of languages gifted to our nation by immigrants and the irreplaceable languages of Aboriginal Australians. In recent decades we have had well funded language policies promoting the teaching and learning of foreign languages for trade and commerce and “Asia literacy”, but even these more limited aims have had very limited success.  I believe the world is moving  steadily towards recognising language and cultural differences as a right, and such recognition is already present in some international and national legal codes, and if this a great new emancipation it is still a long way off. Many conflicts in the world, now and throughout history, have been the result of refusal to recognise the ‘right of difference’.  However, this right, which I defend, needs to be reconciled with the need for connection, communication across cultures, and therefore for a common means of communication."

Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Melbourne and Research Director and Peace Facilitator on Language and Conflict in SE Asia for UNICEF


Venue: Papa Goose

91-93 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

7th August 2015, 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Tickets: $70.00

Ticket Price includes GST

Bookings Close: 5th August 2015