Creating a place at the table or getting a seat on the boat: Reflections on a strategy to position Academic Language and Learning work in relation to national agendas
In 2010, The Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL) took the direction of explicitly linking the work of academic language and learning (ALL) educators across Australia to current national higher education agendas. This direction has resulted in a number of AALL funded national events that involve collaborations among higher education institutions in regional groupings. To date, these events have focused primarily on English language proficiency and assessment, and on social inclusion. This paper begins with a look back at these events and their outcomes over the last 18 months. The paper then reflectively and reflexively examines one of these events as a provisional moment in which AALL was able to create 'a place at the table' in the constantly moving feast of higher education. The material effects of language in describing ourselves and our work as ALL educators is a central theme in this paper. My intention here is to use this Australian experience to invite further dialogue with our ATLAANZ colleagues about their own experiences of navigating the Aotearoa/New Zealand tertiary education waters.