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Representing language education in Australian universities: An analysis of press reporting (2007–2016)

Mason, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8999-4448 and Hajek, J. (2019) Representing language education in Australian universities: An analysis of press reporting (2007–2016). Language Learning in Higher Education, 9 (1). pp. 179-202.

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Educational issues are a regular feature in mainstream media, and the ways in which particular issues are represented can influence public perceptions of the various discipline areas and, in turn, policy decisions that affect them. While the research literature includes media coverage analyses of a wide range of educational disciplines and sectors, missing is an understanding of the media representations of language education in the tertiary setting, despite languages being seen as a key pathway to generalised national multilingualism, social harmony, and economic prosperity. The authors address this gap using Australia as a case study, a country that has seen considerable policy and media attention to language education in general over many years. A content analysis of print newspaper coverage from 2007–2016 was conducted, revealing that the coverage of the discipline area at the tertiary level is extremely limited, is generally superficial in depth, narrow in scope, and negative in tone. This representation perpetuates the already precarious position of language education in Australian universities, and there is little support for a more positive and visible public agenda.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: De Gruyter
Copyright: © 2019 Walter de Gruyter
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