What members want: evaluation of the AFMLTA communications and professional learning member survey, 2018

Scrimgeour, Andrew, and Morgan, Anne-Marie (2019) What members want: evaluation of the AFMLTA communications and professional learning member survey, 2018. Babel, 54 (3). pp. 18-25.

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This paper reports on the member survey conducted in 2018, to understand member interests and concerns, and what they want from the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA), as the umbrella languages teachers association of which their state or territory association is a member. Analysis of member feedback confirms the desire for national perspectives from the AFMLTA, and reveals that national representation and advocacy, national projects, nationallybased professional learning, and national/ international conferences are the key provisions members seek. Members want to communicate through social media, notably Facebook, and to hear from the AFMLTA through News in Brief (NIB) online newsletter and via the website. Members value the academic journal Babel, with very high levels of readership, and they want it in both digital and paper formats. Articles on languages teaching and learning, and innovative teaching research are the most sought after content in Babel. Members look to their state/territory associations more for local context professional learning, and to language specific assocations for professional learning about the language they teach. Website links to presentations and face-to-face professional learning in the school holidays are the most preferred professional learning formats and times, and would most like AFMLTA to focus on languages education research, CLIL/immersion/bilingualism, resources for intercultural learning, and the Australian Curriculum: Languages for professional learning. Issues of most interest at the school level are learner attitude and motivation, and programming, assessing and reporting on learning. The top three concerns about languages teaching and learning more generally are adequate teaching time, government support for primary programs, and declining enrolments.

The AFMLTA, through its mission of providing vision, leadership, representation, advocacy and support for quality teaching and learning of languages (AFMLTA, 2019), and through its four focus areas of member services, governance and operations, leadership and representation, and research and professional practice, appears to be targeting resources and energy into the areas most sought after by members. The AFMLTA is well positioned to address challenges that might arise, and to respond to target areas of the new national declaration of goals for schooling, in which languages remains a key curriculum content area (Education Council, 2019). There are opportunities for curriculum renewal on the horizon, nationally, and for some statesnotably NSW following a comprehensive review which points to languages as a common entitlement for all students. There is a commitment by the Australian Government to develop a national plan and strategy for languages education, which is a welcome initiative, and long overdue, to guide this critical learning area. Commitment to ongoing consultation, surveys, and focus groups, and regular evaluation of languages teacher needs, should ensure the AFMLTA has the agility to respond effectively to these evolving demands."

Item ID: 63408
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 0005-3503
Copyright Information: @AFMLTA and individual authors
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 02:22
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Maori) @ 70%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 30%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 50%
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