In late 2008, the Australian Government announced funding for a national collaborative project to develop a curriculum framework for courses of study in Chinese Mandarin), Indonesian, Japanese, and Korean for 'heritage speakers' of these languages at the senior secondary school level. This article examines some of the issues surrounding this development, investigating one of these languages (Japanese) as a case study. Drawing on previous research, it explores who might be considered a 'heritage' speaker/learner in the Australian secondary school context, how extensive this subgroup of learners of Japanese is in the community of New South Wales, and what courses of language study these students are currently undertaking at the senior secondary level. The project collected data through interviews with schoolteachers experienced in teaching 'heritage speakers of Japanese. These teachers' voices provide informed perceptions of how appropriate the current offering of language courses at senior secondary level for 'heritage' language learners is. The article concludes with a discussion of noose of the challenges which lie ahead in the teaching of heritage language courses.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|