Promoting ongoing cross institutional AALL collegiality, professionalism and research.
This paper reports on the final outcome of two separately funded AALL projects that have been combined into a single database. The combined database can be used to house information about academic language and learning practices taking place in universities across Australia, the cohorts who are taken into account in these practices, and related research that both informs and is generated from these practices.We report on the processes that were engaged to generate the database fields, provide examples of database entries, and outline the potential of the database to inform research collaborations, the sharing of practice and evaluation across higher education sectors. We place the development of the database within the broader framing of identity work that articulates who we are and what we do. This has been an ongoing theme of AALL work. Over the last decade, for example, AALL has engaged in conferences that address identity issues, developed a professional journal for the publication of research that is largely produced by ALL practitioners, and has redrafted a position statement. Collectively, these activities can be understood as identity work, categorisation work, and also as boundary work. A database gives the appearance of homogeneity, yet we know that ourpractices are diverse even within a single category label. In the last section of our paper, we articulate some of our diversity as an antidote to the potential to smooth over and erase difference that is inherent in a database view of the world.
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