Meeting the national interest through Asia literacy — an overview of the major stages and debates

Henderson, Deborah J. (2003) Meeting the national interest through Asia literacy — an overview of the major stages and debates. Asian Studies Review, 27(1), pp. 23-53.

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This paper traces the evolution of ideas on the question of how Australians might become Asia-literate. It examines the main phases in those government and non-government reports on Asian languages and studies that called for a national strategy for Asia literacy. As well, it explores the major debates about the place of the study of Asia and its languages in Australian education. It contends that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commission and acceptance in 1994 of Asian Languages and Australia's Economic Future, known as the Rudd Report (Rudd 1994), was the culmination of more than three decades of debate and lobbying. Also, it argues that the Rudd Report's ambitious long term plan, aimed at producing an Asia-literate generation to boost Australia's international and regional economic performance, was unprecedented.

First, an overview of the significance of the Rudd Report is established. Second, the main stages in those reports and documents that advocated the study of Asia and its languages are identified. Third, the core debates surrounding such phases are traversed in order to establish the contested nature of the context for the study of Asian languages and cultures in Australia, prior to the 1992 COAG brief which commissioned the Rudd Report.

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ID Code: 3237
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Asia literacy, export culture, regional engagement, Australian studies of Asia, policy prescription
DOI: 10.1080/10357820308713365
ISSN: 1467-8403
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Taylor and Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Asian Studies Review 27( 1):pp. 23-53.
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 12:58

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