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The conference will host over 40 scholars of various disciplines from North America, Europe, South Asia, and Australasia:


Artist: Vasuki
Artist: Kiko
Artist: Vasan

Abraham, S.
Ambalavanar, D.
Arasu, V.
Champakalakshmi, R.
Cheran, R.
Fukao, J.
George, G.
George, U.
Ghose, R.
Guruge, S.
Jegathesan, M.
Kanaganayakam, C.
Kanthasamy, P.
Karunakaran, K.
Karunanithi, G.
Kingsolver, A.
Mason, R.
Maunaguru, S.
Maunaguru, Sitralega
McNaughton, S.
More, J.B.P.
Orr, L.
Pai, G.
Palaniappan, S.
Pandian, M.S.S.
Rajesh, V.
Renganathan, V.
Sangarasivam, Y.
Seylon, R.
Shanmugam, K.
Sivalingam, H.
Sriramachandran, R.
Sundar, A.
Tambiah, S.J.
Tyyskä, V.
Vaitheespara, R.
Vivekananthan, P.
Whitaker, M.
Xavier, S.
Young, K.
Younger, P.

Kulasingam Shanmugam

Graduate Student
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong

Teaching Tamil as a Heritage Language in Australia
Friday, June 1st |  3:00 - 5:00 PM

Teaching Tamil language to the children of Tamil immigrants in Australia seems to be ineffective. Considering the number of Tamils living in Australia and the strong linguistic and cultural attachment the Tamils have, the number of Tamil children learning Tamil is quite low.. Tamil is currently taught using the existing syllabus designed for teaching a language other than English (LOTE) or as a Second Language to monolingual English speakers in the Australian context.

In this paper, I argue that Tamil is neither a LOTE nor a Second Language to the children of Tamil heritage,. Tamil is a heritage language for the children of Tamil immigrants and using the existing syllabus to teach Tamil as LOTE for administrative or financial convenience has not brought about desired outcomes.

Mr. Shanmugam is a doctoral candidate working towards a curriculum model for teaching Tamil as heritage language to Tamil children in Australia.