21 January 2009

CFP - "The role of language and multi-cultural education in educating local communities in global economies: Perspectives from Asia" (Hanoi, Vietnam)

The Institute for the Study and Development of Language and Culture - Linguistics Society of Vietnam & Monash International Strategic Initiative - Monash University, Australia are pleased to announce

The International Work-related Education Conference:

“The role of language and multi-cultural education in educating local communities in global economies: Perspectives from Asia”
7th – 8th April, 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam

The global knowledge-based economy produces profound challenges to work-related education at every level. While these challenges manifest themselves in uniquely local ways at specific local sites, they are produced, and must be addressed, in contexts that are uncompromisingly global. If work-related education is to contribute to positive outcomes for people and for local communities we (workers, corporations, educators, researchers, policy makers, politicians and international organisations) must find new ways to pay attention to the ways in which a workforce in the knowledge-based economy can be understood to be ‘global’ as well as ‘local’, and what workers need to be able to know and be able to do to move across and within these spatial and temporal domains.

Clearly all aspects of education and training, including language and multi-cultural education, are being recruited to support and develop a knowledge-based economy. What educators, employers and policy makers at national, regional and international levels need to do now is to cast a critical eye over the past and to consider, with far grater clarity than we have managed in the past, what role work-related education should play in the future. As part of those deliberations we need to consider who work-related education is intended to benefit and what kinds of knowledge-based economies it should be helping to build. Language and multi-cultural education plays an essential part in those deliberations.

Being an international language, English has played an important role in educating the global workforce. This conference, in particular, aims to understand the use and ownership of English by different players in the workplace, and the ways in which English has both been a facilitating and colonising means in workplace education at national, regional and global levels. Taking a critical look at these issues in itself responds to ethical concerns that the conference also targets to address. One of the ethical concerns related to the role of English in educating the global workforce relates to the diminishing role of other languages and associated cultures and practices which are at risk due to the dominant status of English. For local communities to be ‘global’ as well as ‘local’, work-related education must acknowledge and promote the important role of education conducted in local and other foreign languages. Multicultural education also needs to be given more emphasis and made more explicit in educational policies.

This conference wishes to bring together the voices of researchers, educators, policy makers, international organisations, enterprises and corporations operating in Asia on various aspects of work-related education in educating local communities in global economies. These aspects include what is involved and what is at stake when global corporations, NGOs, national education systems and local communities attempt to educate individuals and workforces to engage in the global economy. We are particularly interested in identifying and understanding the role of multicultural education, English, local languages and other foreign languages in the education of a global workforce and the ethical issues involved in educating a global workforce for the global economy from the perspectives of the Global South, starting with Asia as the initial site for this conference.

Conference Themes
The conference will focus on, but not limited to, the following themes:
1. The role of English as an international language in educating the global workforce
2. The role of local languages and other foreign languages
3. The role of multicultural education
4. Educating local communities for global economies: perspectives from corporations, enterprises, NGOs and policy makers
5. Ethical concerns in educating the global workforce
6. Others

You are invited to submit an abstract of about 200-300 words addressing one or more of the above conference themes to Phan Le Ha at ha.phan@education.monash.edu.au

This conference will enable publication of a special issue in an international journal.

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 February 2009
Deadline for conference registration: 20 March 2009

A full conference program will be sent to you after 1st February 2009. The conference organisers will also assist you with accommodation booking and tour arrangements in Vietnam.

Thank you for your interest in the conference. We look forward to your participation.

Conference chairs and convenors:
Associate Professor Dr Phan Van Que & Dr Duong Ky Duc
Institute for the Study and Development of Language and Culture, Linguistics Society of Vietnam
Dr Phan Le Ha
Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia

Dr Phan Le Ha
Email: ha.phan@education.monash.edu.au