Presented by ViệtSpeak, the Language and Community Symposium is programmed as part of Neighbourhood, a new arts festival based in Melbourne’s western suburbs. It is also part of the House of Mother Tongue, House of Other Tongue project that features in the festival. Alongside the symposium are two visual art exhibitions at Footscray Community Arts and West Space (gallery). The exhibitions will present work emanating from the community archive to save the Vietnamese-English Bilingual Program at Footscray Primary (2016-2020). Hosting guests between the two galleries is Hát Xe Buýt (Singing Bus), a specially curated bus journey with artists and performers exploring ideas of language justice, reclamation and urban development.

Registration | Attendance is by registration as space is limited. If you would like lunch provided please select the appropriate  option. Food will be locally sourced and we will not turn anyone away. If you would like to request a complimentary ticket please email: info@vietbilingual.org

ViệtSpeak was founded by parents, teachers, academics and community members who support the existence of Vietnamese bilingual programs in primary education. Many of the founding members have a long association with Footscray Primary School’s Vietnamese Bilingual Program, originally established as a mother tongue program in 1985 which transitioning to a bilingual model in 1997. Unfortunately, after decades of providing a rich language and cultural experience, Footscray Primary decided to close this award winning program.

ViệtSpeak aims to achieve recognition of the educational and cultural value of dual language programs in primary education and, in particular, is focused on advocating for the establishment of a Vietnamese dual language program in primary schools in the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

ViệtSpeak recognises the value of community languages in learning, both cognitively and in terms of cultural literacy. The languages that surround the local experiences of children are meaningful and relevant when integrated across the Australian-Victorian curriculum and into the life of the school community. Community languages involve students in authentic learning experiences that cannot be achieved with languages abstract to the lived experience of students and the communities they are part of.

ViệtSpeak advocates for dual language programs that integrate non-English language learning through all the areas of knowledge construction and skill development in the Australian-Victorian curriculum. In accordance with Victorian Education Department guidelines, this requires a minimum of 7.5 hours a week of instruction across the curriculum in the designated non-English language.

For further information go to the ViệtSpeak website or email: info@vietbilingual.org