Southeast Asia is one of the most linguistically diverse area in the world with over 1,000 living languages that belong to five major language families (Ethnologue 2018). In the classroom, however, SEA languages are traditionally presented as monoliths that can perpetuate linguistic hegemony in the region. Furthermore, SEA languages taught in the classroom are not always the home languages for heritage learners or field languages scholars need to conduct fieldwork.
This official COTSEAL interactive roundtable is designed to engage and raise questions for language learners, language teachers, field researchers, and language program administrators. The roundtable brings together stakeholders to 1. determine the roles and responsibilities, if any, Southeast Asian language programs and teachers have in designing curricula and materials that reflect linguistic diversity in Southeast Asia; 2. strategize how to create linguistic inclusion and equity in and beyond the language classroom; and 3. provide best practices that will meet the ever-diversifying needs of Southeast Asian Language student population, including heritage language learners. Some questions to guide the discussion include:
What role, if any, do SEA language programs have in representing multilingualism in the region?
What are some best practices in choosing language teaching materials that are mindful and inclusive for both heritage and L2 learners?
How can heritage learners from underrepresented languages and cultures best be engaged in the SEA language classroom?
What are some responsibilities, if any, for SEA language teaching practitioners and area specialists in promoting linguistic equity and accessibility in the region?
What are the experiences of scholars and practitioners working in linguistically, culturally, and ethnically diverse areas and how can the language classroom best prepare them for the field?
The roundtable will begin with a short introduction of each discussant followed by a brief overview of current Southeast Asian language programs in the United States, Europe, and Australia. After which the discussion leader will pose discussion questions for the discussants to give their perspectives/comments (approximately 15 minutes). The audience and roundtable discussants will then engage in discussion of question posed (approximately 10 minutes). Audience participation are encouraged and valued in this roundtable.