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MELC supported projects for students are designed to support contemporary and innovative initiatives that engender experimentation and renewal in languages education, multicultural education and international education.
Each year MELC provides funding for contemporary and innovative school-based projects that provide opportunities for students to actively engage in and reflect upon linguistic and cultural diversity, and to consider their own linguistic, social and cultural practices and identities.
MELC projects are based on the principles of:
- Engagement – fostering direct engagement with linguistic and cultural diversity
- Learning in diversity - ensuring that students are engaged in experiences that promote learning about themselves/others and their learning in the context of diversity
- Identity formation - ensuring that students are invited to reflect on their own perspectives, identities, belonging and to develop self-awareness of their education and life experience in the context of diversity
- Experience – are experientially focused
- Imagination - fostering imagination and creativity
- Participation – inviting participation in early childhood centres, schools and the wider community
- Opportunities – affording opportunities for participation of marginalised young people
- Reflection – including opportunities for evaluating and reflecting on experiences of linguistic and cultural diversity
MELC is undertaking the following projects in schools throughout 2019.
GoFilm!: Exploring cultural and linguistic diversity through filmmaking
Project provider: Felicity Arts
GoFilm!: Exploring cultural and linguistic diversity through filmmaking is an 8-week, film-based education program for primary school students. Using the medium of filmmaking, students discover, engage with, reflect upon and record linguistic and cultural diversity as part of a unit of study already being undertaken in their school.
The GoFilm! project enables students to explore their own and their peers’ cultural identities and learn how to create and communicate stories and document events using film production. Students will learn filmmaking skills and techniques to create digital stories in relation to linguistic and cultural diversity and identity.
For more information about the project provider visit Felicity Arts’ website.
Schools involved in 2019 are:
- Wandana Primary School
- West Beach Primary School
Their Stories, Our Stories: Choir in Schools
Project provider: Dr Russell Fewster and Christie Anderson
The Their Stories Our Stories project is a unique song-writing and communal singing project which invites secondary students to actively participate in and reflect upon linguistic and cultural diversity through writing songs and singing together. Dr Fewster, of the University of South Australia, and Ms Anderson, of the Young Adelaide Voices choir, work with students to write and perform songs based on their life experiences and social and cultural identity.
At the completion of the project, the choirs from the two participating schools will come together for a public performance. The making of a 2-minute documentary highlighting pivotal moments in the creation of the choir will also be a part of this project.
Schools involved in 2019 are:
- Brighton Secondary School
- Immanuel College
Project provider: Dr Corinna Di Niro
Performing Commedia is a 10-week project where secondary school drama students and their teacher will learn the history and practice of Commedia dell’Arte - a 16th century Italian improvisation theatre form. Through learning about Commedia, students reflect on their cultural and linguistic identity and build understanding of culturally and linguistically diverse theatre practices.
Commedia dell’Arte utilises masks as a tool for exploring identity with students learning to develop characters and improvise scenes using masks and other props. Dr Di Niro, of the University of South Australia, works with the students to develop a series of short comedy routines to be performed for the school community, family and friends.
For more information visit Dr Di Niro's website.
In 2019, Dr Di Niro will be working with Year 9 drama students from Aberfoyle Park High School.
Young Cultural Leaders
Project provider: ActNow Theatre
In 2019, Young Cultural Leaders is specifically designed for a focus group of young women of Muslim background in Years 9 – 12. Though the project the students actively participate in a special program of theatre workshops which facilitate consideration of their linguistic, social and cultural practices and identities, and linguistic and cultural diversity more broadly.
The project aims to build and develop students’ intercultural capabilities, communication and leadership skills to enable them to become cultural ambassadors within the school and wider community.
In the first phase of the project, a team of artists support students to explore and express what is important to them in relation to linguistic and cultural identity. In the second phase of the project, students share and present their learning and reflections with broader audiences through a performance.
For more information visit ActNow’s website.
In 2019, ActNow Theatre will work with students from Kildare College.
Project provider: Elyas Alavi
The My Journey project is designed for primary school students to actively participate in and reflect upon linguistic and cultural diversity, whist considering their own linguistic and cultural practices and identities through a series of visual art and poetry workshops.
Students explore art making techniques across a range of cultures; participate in storytelling, share their own languages, cultures and stories with one another; and express themselves creatively through visual art, poetry writing and performance.
The project links to the curriculum areas of visual art, science, English and history.
For more information visit Elyas’ website.
This project was first offered in 2018 and due to the success of the project and the extent of interest from schools, the project was been extended to include the following schools in 2019:
In 2019, Elyas will work with students from St Gabriel’s School.
MELC supported the following projects in 2018:
Young Cultural Leaders – ActNow Theatre
In 2018, the Young Cultural Leaders project was specifically designed for a focus group of young Aboriginal students.
Students actively participated in and reflected upon linguistic and cultural diversity, and considered their own linguistic, social and cultural practices and identities through a series of theatre workshops. The project built and developed students’ intercultural capabilities, communication and leadership skills to enable them to become cultural ambassadors within the school and wider community.
Paralowie R-12 School participated in the Young Cultural Leaders project in 2018.
My Kitchen - James Parker
The My Kitchen project encouraged preschool and junior primary students to investigate cultural differences and similarities using food as a metaphor.
Students investigated who does the work in their family kitchen, and learnt about the kitchen’s place in different communities and cultures. Students developed visual art representations of their family kitchens and pantries.
This project was first offered in 2017 and due to the success of the project and the extent of interest from schools, the project was extended to include the following schools in 2018:
- Christ the King Catholic School
- Flinders View Primary School
- Marion Primary School
- Playford College
In 2017 the following schools participated in the My Kitchen project:
- Campbelltown Preschool
- Klemzig Primary School
- Para Vista P-7 School
- St Bernadette’s School
An iBook was developed as an artefact from the project.
The iBook is narrated by two students from Klemzig Primary School and captures workshop activities, galleries of portraits, food and cooking utensils, games, investigation questions and reflections by students involved.
The iBook is available from the iTunes store and can be downloaded free of charge.
Youth Music Identity Profiles - Dr Daniela Kaleva
The Youth Music Identity Profiles project increased cultural awareness and supported positive identity building for secondary students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Students explored their most memorable encounters with music and how music best expressed their individuality. They used digital technology to develop an individual music identity profile.
The project was led by Dr Daniela Kaleva and sound artist Philip Rene van Hout.
Originally offered in 2017, due to the success of the project and the extent of interest from schools, the project was extended to include the following schools in 2018:
- Tenison Woods College jointly with North Gambier School
- Playford International College
In 2017 the following schools participated:
- Woodville High School
- Paralowie R-12 School.
The Exquisite I
Project provider: SA Writers Centre
The Exquisite I, run by the SA Writers Centre, was a collaborative project where young people from diverse backgrounds engaged with and reflected on how they constructed their identity.
The participants illustrated and narrated their experiences through story and the written word, capturing a diverse range of languages and literacies and culminated with the production of a professionally produced anthology.
The Exquisite I teaching resource (PDF 122KB) is a guide to help educators who would like to run the project themselves.
Cultural and linguistic diversity: youth stories project
Project provider: Dr Rosie Roberts and Larissa Pick Pickalla
This experiential project run by Rosie Roberts of the University of South Australia worked with one urban and one rural secondary school through a series of workshops. They developed young people’s autobiographical stories that represented everyday experiences of linguistic and cultural difference in contemporary Australia.
The youth stories project teaching resource (PDF 968KB) is a guide to running the program, as well as background and pedagogical information.
Each year there is a celebration of that year's MELC supported projects to publicly acknowledge the culmination and success of the projects.
The 2018 MELC Supported Projects Celebration event celebrated the achievements of those students from Norwood Morialta High School, Elizabeth Vale and Elizabeth Grove Primary Schools who participated in the My Journey project across Terms 1, 2 and 3 of 2018.
The My Journey project asked participating students to actively consider their own linguistic, social and cultural identities through a series of visual art and poetry workshops with award-winning visual artist and poet Elyas Alavi. During the project the students explored, through the theme of ‘identity’, art-making techniques across a range of cultures, participated in storytelling, shared languages, cultures and stories with one another and undertook self-expression through their own visual art, poetry writing and performance.
Hosted by Norwood Morialta High School, students from all three schools provided outstanding performances they had developed during the project. The 2018 Celebration event was curated by the schools and Mr Elyas Alavi.
An Exhibition of Innovative School Based projects – My Kitchen and Youth Identity Music Profiles was held on from Tuesday 25 July 2017 until 10 August 2017 at the Department for Education Gallery, Flinders Street, Adelaide. The Exhibition was part of the annual South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.
Each participating school in the two projects contributed to the interactive exhibition which included digital, drawings, installations of dioramas, multimedia, sound and video mediums. Colourful posters provided information about the two projects. The Exhibition was curated by the two project providers.
Phone: 8226 1191
Email: education.mecs [at] sa.gov.au