MyLanguage 2012 Conference Presentations now available

The second national MyLanguage Conference was hosted by the State Library of Queensland in August 2012, in partnership with Public Libraries South Australia and State Libraries of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Libraries ACT.

The 2012 conference MyLanguage – Connecting, Collaborating, Creating had the focus of exploring digital futures for multicultural Australia, especially ways of connecting communities, collaborating and creating digital opportunities.

The conference presentations are now available on the MyLanguage website.

New MyLanguage website

After six years of operation, MyLanguage, a web portal to multilingual information resources for new and emergent Australian communities, has been relaunched in Adelaide at the FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia) conference on Friday November 18.

Mr Hieu Van Le, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and Chairman of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, launched the new MyLanguage web portal saying: ‘What we have in MyLanguage is perhaps one of the most valuable tools for living that newly arrived Australians can get their hands on today. It provides a whole suite of important pieces of information – and in more than 65 languages. If you’ve just settled here, if your English is still developing, and if you’re looking to find your feet in a rather unfamiliar place, then this is the website for you’.

MyLanguage reflects Australia’s position as one of the most multicultural countries on earth and seeks to simplify access to important online information resources for a culturally and linguistically diverse population.

The new portal provides clear links to multilingual search engines, web directories, government websites, online dictionaries, and syndicated news headlines. It also contains translations of online government and community information relating to health, legal issues, settlement, education and public libraries along with information on multilingual library collections around Australia.

MyLanguage national manager, Brendan Fitzgerald, says the new MyLanguage website is all about making life easier and more inclusive for Australia’s non-English speaking population. ‘Through the delivery of quality language services MyLanguage ensures that individuals from non-English speaking communities have fair and equitable access to services such as health, education, housing and the justice system.’

MyLanguage is a joint partnership between the State Libraries of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia; Public Libraries Services South Australia, the Northern Territory Library and Libraries ACT.

The new MyLanguage website is now live at:  http://www.mylanguage.gov.au

International Mother Language Day 21 February 2011

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

Donations needed for the Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA) Book Fair

Do you have any unwanted books, CDs or DVDs that you could donate to a free book fair being organised by the Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA)?

ECCWA is Western Australia’s peak ethnic body. It advocates on behalf of migrants, refugees, members of ethnic minority groups and indigenous people. One of our priorities is encouraging our clients to learn English, read and use libraries. To this end we plan to hold a free book fair on a Saturday during the April school holidays (Wednesday 20 April – Wednesday 4 May). This will be based on a similar successful event we held last year. All books and other materials will be free, although people will be asked to make a gold coin donation on entry to support our work.

This event aims to assist migrants and refugees to integrate by providing them with books and electronic resources on Australian society and culture and encourage ‘mainstream’ Australians to understand minority groups by providing books and other resources on different cultures. We hope to encourage cross-cultural interaction by holding an event at which Western Australians from different cultures will have the opportunity to socialise while selecting books and enjoying light refreshments.

Any unwanted materials you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Particularly useful will be books on Australian history and society and other cultures and nations (fiction and non-fiction). Children’s materials would be particularly useful.

All donations will be acknowledged at the event and in ECCWA’s annual report. If you have any posters or pamphlets advertising your services please forward them with your donation and they will be displayed at the book fair. I will be able to arrange the collection of donations within the metropolitan area.

Please contact me on 9227 5322 if you have any queries.

Regards, Ananda Barton (Mr.)

Coordinator – Literacy and Reading Project

http://www.eccwa.org.au

MyLanguage 2010 Conference Papers

The MyLanguage Conference which took place from August 9 – 11 2010 generated many interesting ideas and proposals about how digital technology can be used to promote social inclusion and to support language and cultural maintenance.

The theme of the conference explored how digital technologies could be used to assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to achieve greater social inclusion and to maintain their linguistic and cultural identity.

The conference presentations, information about the speakers, and a list of useful links are now available here on the MyLanguage website.

The MyLanguage website provides access to search engines, web directories and news in over sixty languages.