Category: Asian languages

2020 Reviewing Asian Studies, Asian languages, Asian studies, Australia - Indonesia relations, Indonesia

The state of Indonesian language in Australian universities: the past 20 years.

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A recent volume tracing ‘the journey of Australia’s first Asian language’ (Thomas, 2019) finds that, while successive Australian governments have identified Indonesia as Australia’s most important neighbour and as a key to Australia’s prosperity and security, this recognition has not sustained interest among Australians in studying the language. For the last two decades, the study […]

Asian languages, Asian studies, Indonesia

Emeritus Professor Merle Calvin Ricklefs 1943-2019

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Obituary: Merle Ricklefs Merle Ricklefs, who passed away in Melbourne on 29 December 2019, was the pre-eminent scholar of Javanese Islam of his generation and, more broadly, one of the leading historians of Indonesia.  He also played a significant leadership role in Asian Studies in Australia as well as the development of Aboriginal tertiary education […]

Asian languages

‘Outsider’ language students see own society through other eyes

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Learning another language has more benefits than enhanced job prospects Australians’ lack of appetite for language learning is frequently reported to be worsening. Yet at the same time, ‘intercultural’ has become something of a buzzword. The Australian National Curriculum makes extensive reference to ‘intercultural understanding’, while employers are increasingly seeking recruits with ‘intercultural competency’. There […]

Asian languages

Teaching Hindi with comics

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Students appear to be responding well to a novel approach to learning Hindi Over the last two years I’ve started using comics increasingly to teach first-year Hindi. Responses from students have been positive. But it has also raised the question of why we might use comics to teach languages and what we can say about […]

Asian languages

Tigers vs goats: Rajiv Malhotra’s battle for Sanskrit

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The architecture of Indian civilisation or a mere language? McCOMAS TAYLOR surveys the battleline over the significance of Sanskrit. Western scholarship devours Sanskrit just as a tiger eats a goat. It digests whatever its needs to develop and ejects the remains. In the end there is no goat, only the tiger grown stronger than ever. […]

Asian languages

Time for radical rethink on language policy

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An Australian institute of languages could do for language learning what the Australian Institute of Sport has done for sport, JOHN INGELSON believes. For many Australians, understanding the social and cultural dynamics of Asian countries and their peoples does not come naturally. This is understandable, given the lack of a shared cultural framework and historical […]