Published on 9 October 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s efforts to boost the region’s “Asia literacy” will soon see school teachers travelling to Indonesia to study the local language.
USC’s Indonesian for Teachers Initiative (InTI) is offering 15 scholarships for teachers to undertake four Indonesian language courses over the next two years, with the option of studying up to two of the courses in Lombok, Indonesia.
The initiative has been jointly developed by the University and the Australian Government Department of Education.
USC Lecturer in Indonesian Dr Phillip Mahnken said successful applicants would be able to immerse themselves in the Indonesian language and culture during their studies at USC and at the University of Mataram in Lombok.
“The Indonesian for Teachers Initiative was launched to stimulate demand for Indonesian to be studied in schools and provide teachers with the chance to gain or improve their existing language skills,” Dr Mahnken said.
“There doesn’t need to be an Indonesian component taught at a prospective teacher’s school. They just need to have a passion to learn a new language and culture.”
The scholarships, worth about $9,000 each, will cover university tuition, course fees and text books and contribute to travel expenses for in-country study.
Teachers who complete four Indonesian courses in the USC program will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Arts (GCA).
Dr Mahnken said InTI was designed to help Sunshine Coast teachers and their students become “Asia literate” by providing students with continuous access to an Asian language.
“The national curriculum has identified Indonesian as a priority language for helping students to become Asia literate,” he said.
“By encouraging teachers to embark on language studies, we hope this will, in turn, lead to an increase in Indonesian being taught in schools,” he said.
Applicants for the scholarships must be employed, registered teachers who are either teaching or intending to teach within the Sunshine Coast region.
Applications for scholarships are due by Friday 8 November 2013.
— Jessica Halls