Advocating Language: Global Citizenship & Multilingual Skills

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Roundtable: Advocating Language - Global Citizenship and the Importance of Multilingual Skills

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Our collective work aims to produce independent, proactive, and critical language users who gain essential linguistic, cultural, and intellectual skills during their studies, and use those skills to be effective communicators in the community, in business and in government.

Graduate outcomes across Australia increasingly claim we are educating global citizens, creating graduates with flexible thinking and intercultural skills that many see as the backbone of future careers and life in a global society. It seems that current priorities (governmental and institutional) potentially create a tension between this focus on global engagement and an increasingly instrumental monolingual/monocultural focus on shorter term domestic employability skills.

Against this background, the focus of this ROUNDTABLE is on the real, in some cases existential, challenges now facing language education and area studies research in the tertiary sector. Its aim is to explore how we can better advocate the need for, and value of, such critical language users – and hence the value of well-focused and effective language programmes.

Roundtable speakers will not just to define the problem, but rather consider what we can do about it. They will share their own personal experiences and perspectives on the importance and impact of Japanese (and other) language education in universities and beyond in the workplace, as well as their thoughts on key graduate outcomes in our increasingly global world. Finally, we will explore how best we can speak with a united voice to better promote the vital importance of language study in the tertiary sector.

Roundtable Participants:

• A/Professor Beatrice Trefalt, JSAA President, Monash

• Ambassador of Japan, Yamagami Shingo

• Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice Chancellor International, University of Melbourne

• Professor Keijiro Suga, Meiji University, Japan

• Professor Melissa Crouch, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales, ASAA Vice President

• A/Professor Carol Hayes, School of Culture, History & Language, The Australian National University, Chair

Proposed Structure

• The chaired roundtable discussion will run for one hour (including discussion between participants) followed by 30 minutes of Q&A from the floor.

• Zoom break-out rooms will be used if required by numbers.

Roundtable Participant Bios

Associate Professor Beatrice Trefalt, JSAA President, Monash

Current President of the JSAA, Beatrice Trefalt is Associate Professor of Japanese Studies in the School of Language, Literatures Cultures and Linguistics at the Monash University. Her areas of expertise are Japanese Language and Japanese History, with a focus on topics relating to the war and to legacies of the war in Japan. Recent publications include Japanese War Criminals, co-authored written Sandra Wilson (Murdoch), Robert Cribb (ANU) and Dean Aszkielowicz (Murdoch) dealing with the trials of Japanese war criminals and their aftermath (Columbia University Press, 2017), which received the NSW Premiers' History Prize. She has also written on the French prosecution of Japanese war crimes in Indochina and at the Tokyo trial, and on the Japanese experiences of battlefields in the Pacific.

Ambassador of Japan, Yamagami Shingo

Shingo Yamagami is the Ambassador of Japan to Australia, taking up this role in December 2020. Prior to coming to Canberra, Ambassador Yamagami has worked in Tokyo, Mito and Ibaragi Prefectures as well as overseas in the United States (New York, Washington), Hong Kong, Geneva, and London. With a Bachelor of Law from the University of Tokyo, Ambassador Yamagami completed postgraduate study at Columbia University, and is committed to deepening cooperation between Japan and Australia across many areas, including trade and investment, defence, and technology, and now in the area of Japanese Language and Studies.

Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice Chancellor International, University of Melbourne

Michael Wesley is Deputy Vice-Chancellor International at the University of Melbourne, responsible for leading the University's international engagement. Professor Wesley has extensive experience in international strategy and relations and has worked in higher education, government, and the private sector. His research focuses on Australian foreign policy, Asia’s international relations and strategic affairs, and the politics of state-building interventions.

Previously, Professor Wesley was Professor of International Affairs and Dean of the College of Asia & the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU), Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU, the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, and Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments. He has a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Professor Keijiro Suga, Meiji University, Japan

Keijiro Suga is a poet and academic of critical theory at Meiji University where he founded the graduate program called “Places, Arts, and Consciousness.” One of the conference Keynote Speakers, Professor Suga, has published 10 books of critical essays and travelogues of which Transversal Journeys was awarded the Yomiuri Prize for Literature in 2011, and seven collections of poetry in Japanese of which The Dog Search / My Dog Papyrus (2019) is the latest. His poems have been translated into English, French, Romanian, Serbian, Slovene, Albanian, Chinese, Spanish, and Italian and he has been invited to read at literary festivals and universities on many occasions. All of this provides Professor Suga with an important perspective on language proficiency in our global world.

Professor Melissa Crouch, Law Faculty, University of New South Wales, ASAA Vice President

Melissa Crouch is Professor and Associate Dean Research at the Law School, UNSW, and Vice-President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), the peak academic body for Asian studies in Australia. Melissa established and runs the Southeast Asia Law & Policy Forum at UNSW law. Her research focus is comparative constitutional law; law and society; and law and religion. Melissa is Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" (2018-2021). Her recent research includes, The Constitution of Myanmar (2019) (shortlisted for the Australian Legal Research Awards inaugural book award; see podcast by the New Books Network here) and an edited volume Women and the Judiciary in the Asia-Pacific (forthcoming CUP 2021). Melissa has worked with local and international organisations with a focus on constitutional and administrative law reforms and legal education in Southeast Asia.

CHAIR: Associate Professor Carol Hayes, The Australian National University

Carol Hayes is Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Studies in the College of Asia and the Pacific, Distinguished Educator at the Australian National University and Co-Chair of the ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme. Her areas of expertise are Japanese Language and Studies, with a focus on cultural production and language teaching methodologies and practice, particularly e-L&T and tertiary teacher educational professional development. Her recent research outcomes include The Spiritual in the Mundane: The Poetry of the Shikoku O-Henro Pilgrimage, Sacred Sites and Sacred Stories (Palgrave, 2021), ‘Australian Network for Teaching Advanced Japanese Project Report’ (JSAA 2021), co-investigated with Ikuko Nakane, Japan in Australia (Routledge, 2020) co-edited with David Chapman, and A Two-Dimensional Introduction to Sashiko (Bridges, 2020) co-authored with mathematician Katherine Seaton.

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