25 February, 2023
I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at the WAATI (Western Australian Association of Teachers of Italian) Conference at the Telethon Speech & Hearing Institute in Perth on a warm, sunny, late February morning.
In my presentation, entitled Learning Languages Online: From Digital Literacies to Digital Wellness, I explored key literacies of relevance to language teachers and learners, looking at the nature and significance of each, before talking about activities in which digital literacies development can be integrated with language learning. The feedback from the receptive audience suggested that well-known literacies like information literacy and, of course, intercultural literacy find a lot of resonance among language teachers, while there was also considerable interest in attentional and critical literacy. Naturally, we touched on generative AI, especially ChatGPT, and how it can provide engaging learning materials while also sparking conversations about artificial intelligence and the need to exercise information literacy skills. Above all, teachers were keen to identify tasks which can serve the dual purpose of teaching students language while building their awareness of and facility with digital literacies.
Due to commitments later in the day, I was unable to stay to hear other papers, but there was a full and interesting programme ready to be delivered by speakers exploring many different ways of keeping language learning current in the 21st century.