Episode 6: Hallmarks of a good language program & more with Dr. Ingrid Piller

Episode #6

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Dr. Ingrid Piller, a Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University  in Sydney, Australia. She has had an impressive international career holding appointments at universities in Germany, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the USA.  Dr. Piller serves as editor-in-chief of the international sociolinguistics journal Multilingua.  She has extensive research expertise in several areas including Bilingual Education.   She is particularly interested in the ways in which linguistic diversity intersects with social inclusion and global justice.

Episode #6 Quick Guide

On this episode, Dr. Piller discusses with us:

  • Her background with languages and how her perception of becoming educated was synonymous with becoming bilingual;
  • Her fascination with languages and how they can shape an individual’s life;
  • How her professional and personal life have taken an international turn;
  • The current diverse linguistic landscape in Australia;
  • The many benefits of being multilingual including cognitive, health, education and economic benefits;
  • The importance of incorporating an academic component when learning another language;
  • The hallmarks that make up a good language program specifically schools that:
    • Appreciates the value of a second language;
    • Spends 200 hours of instruction in the minority language a year;
    • Incorporates the target language throughout extracurricular activities;
    • Has highly qualified educators ;
  • The options parents may have if instruction in their specific minority language is not available including;
    • Private language schools;
    • Schools that value the community language;
    • International schools like the German International School System;
    • Schools that value language diversity even if your language is not represented;
    • Saturday schools;
  • Cultural changes and challenges that bilingual parents may face;
  • How age can impact language outcomes;
  • Encouraging words for parents raising bilingual children.

Resource from this episode:

Language on the Move



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