“One of the many challenges for languages education in Australia and other English-speaking countries is the impact of the so-called monolingual mindset - where English dominates and demotivates. It feeds in to the way we view the world, ourselves and language education..” Taken from John Hajek’s abstract for his Speech at the AFMLTA Conference 2013
Hajek encourages teachers to burst the Anglo-bubble. Why? Because:
- 94% of the world does not speak English as a first language. 75% of the world does not speak English at all
- The richest countries in Europe are multilingual -Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Germany
- The top grossing song last year was by Brazilian phenomenon Michel Telo with his song, “Ai se eu te pego” and had over 512 million hits on Youtube and yet was unknown in Australia and other English speaking countries.
So what else are we and our children missing out on when we limit them to an English only environment?
What we can do? How do you go about bursting that bubble? Hajek suggests sharing clips of famous people speaking in other languages. Here are some examples:
Sandra Bullock - German
Jodie Foster - French
Miranda Kerr - Japanese
Johnny Depp - French
Natalie Portman -Hebrew
Gwenyth Paltrow - French
Other participants at the AFMLTA Conference have been inspired too. Check out Fiona Boughey’s presentation on slideshare entitled Keep Calm and Get out of the Anglobubble A great resource. Thank you Fiona!