New accelerated pathway to the Diploma of Language Studies
15 May 2014
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce a new accelerated pathway to the Diploma of Language Studies, delivering a more flexible way to study languages other than English.
The accelerated pathway to the Diploma of Language Studies provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to enhance their undergraduate study with a course in a foreign language, as well as offering postgraduate students a highly flexible study option.
The intensive pathway is designed to address the language learning needs of students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree course who do not have the opportunity to add language studies units.
It also caters to the needs of postgraduate students and professionals who wish to enhance their capability by acquiring communications skills in a new language.
"More specifically, the new pathway is tailored for students in professionally oriented degree courses and fields where the ability to communicate at a pragmatic level in the language would enhance their capacity to work in that country/region," said Associate Professor Yixu Lu, Acting Head of the School of Languages and Cultures.
"It recognises that the language learning needs of students in professionally oriented faculties differ markedly from those of students with less instrumental reasons to acquire a languages as they simply do not have the time during traditional semesters to devote to studies outside their degree program."
The accelerated pathway emphasises communication skills in the field, complemented by specifically designed units of study aimed at developing cross-cultural sensitivity and inter-cultural understanding.
It reduces the existing Diploma of Languages to two semesters from four, and will be offered throughout the year and in blended mode, with intensive units offered during summer and winter breaks, with face-to-face teaching supported by online, interactive learning activities.
Students will also be able to take two culture units offered during regular semesters, taught online and designed to be as flexible as possible to avoid clashing with their normal schedule.
The languages to be offered in the first phase include three major Asian languages (Indonesian, Japanese and Korean), and Spanish, the language of Latin America, which is emerging as a major strategic region for Australia.
It will also provide a means through which to maximise opportunities in relation to the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP), currently targeting Indonesia and Japan as pilot regions, but due to be opened to all countries in Asia and the Pacific.
"The opportunities provided - through the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarships and mobility grants - will enhance students’ professional skills and networks, while at the same time improve their communicative and intercultural competence," said Dr Nerida Jarkey, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies.
"The NCP funding is designed to support not only traditional exchange programs in the Indo Pacific region, but also practicums, clinical placements, internships, and short-term research programs.
"We look forward to collaborating with colleagues in a wide range of faculties, including Law, Medicine and Business, to support and prepare students to participate in these programs."
Students studying in this Accelerated Mode will also be strongly encouraged to participate in an International Exchange Program.
"The accelerated pathway to the Diploma of Language Studies reflects the fact that language acquisition (primarily with a focus on Asia) is a key priority for successive governments," said Associate Professor Lu.
"As a consequence, community understanding of the benefits of second language acquisition are growing."
Commonwealth Supported Places will be available and the University of Sydney has recently been allocated 130 new places over four years, specifically for language studies.