Building a global virtual community. The role of language learning in educating global citizens

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Book Chapter

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Vallero, A., Webb, B., Pudsey, L. (2015). Building a global virtual community. The role of language learning in educating global citizens. In K. Ozanska-Ponikwia and J. Pacula (Eds.), Stay in touch/keep in touch (pp. 57-78). Bielsko-Biala: Academic Publishers of the University of Bielsko-Biala.

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© 2015 by Akademia Techniczno-Humanistyczna w Bielsku-Bialej




Introduction: In recognition of the need to prepare the young Australians for the globalized and rapidly internationalised world, a number of initiatives have been introduced promoting languages other than English in Australian schools. These initiatives reflect the Australian Government's commitment to languages education in order to "equip young Australians with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to communicate and work with our international neighbours". Most recently, in August 2014, the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) in the Australian state of Queensland, published a consultation paper: Global schools - Creating successful global citizens. This government policy draft promotes language programs in Queensland schools as a pivotal process in preparing young Queenslanders to become global citizens.

The aim of this paper is to evaluated the challenges the teachers may encounter during the implementation of the Global Schools Plan. This paper will also provide suggestions for enabling its success. First, the context of secondary educational communities in Australia is examined and the next section introduces the background of global schools. The paper also outlines the research methodology applied in this study and it identifies the potential challenges to all stakeholders including the Queensland Government, school principals, programs and teachers. The paper offers solutions through investigating the strengths of the existing system, employing appropriate professional development and utilizing digital technologies.

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