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The Australian National University

Dr Catherine Hudson

Visiting Fellow, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

A major research interest has been the language learning trajectories of multilingual school-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Queensland and the focus of a research collaboration with Denise Angelo. Our research has largely centred on the issues related to the use of English –the national standard but also the lexifier of Queensland contact varieties– as the medium of classroom instruction for those students whose complex language backgrounds are characterised by language contact and shift processes. A particular interest is the effects on this cohort when they undergo schooling in 'mainstream' classroom settings that are undifferentiated for their language backgrounds and second/subsequent language learning needs in Standard Australian English. A focus of our present collaboration has been the reliance in language education research and policy making on assumptions about language acquisition and development taken from theoretical frameworks developed for refugee and migrant second language learners with overseas language backgrounds. There appears to be a direct link between the uncritical take-up of these concepts in research and current policy making and implementation in the classroom, resulting in a negative impact on the  recognition of the language learning needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners with complex language backgrounds. In the context of speakers of contact language varieties, we are attempting to develop concepts to expand theoretical frameworks as they currently exist.  Our collaborative work has also led us to investigate alternative methods to standard research design in the above contexts. This work has clear applications in other Australian and Asian-Pacific contexts with language contact ecologies.

 

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Updated:  22 September 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers