Creating a place at the table - or getting a seat on the boat



Publication Details

B. James (2011). Creating a place at the table - or getting a seat on the boat. Wellington, New Zealand, 1st December.


In 2010, The Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL) took the direction of explicitly linking the work of academic language and learning educators across Australia to current national higher education agendas. Metaphorically, this was conceptualised as 'gaining a place at the table ' in our institutions' responses to national agendas but the metaphor of 'gaining a seat on the boat' works equally well and fits more neatly with the theme of this conference. This direction resulted in a number of AALL funded national events in 2010 and 2011 that have involved collaborations among higher education institutions in regional groupings. These events have focused primarily on English language proficiency and assessment and, on social inclusion. This presentation begins with a look back at these events and their outcomes over the last 18 months. Then a series of questions will focus discussion with the audience: Did we get the place at the table that we wanted? What about the constantly moving feast of higher education? Why should we look for a place? How do we keep and strengthen a place for ourselves in these discussions? What is the ATLAANZ experience and how might we connect and learn from each other?

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