The Durban University of Technology in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the DUT Confucius Institute, are hosting a Conference of Foreign Language Teaching Mobility, at Coastlands Umhlanga from 25 to 26 September 2019.
The aim of the conference is to pull together everyone involved in the teaching of a foreign language under one roof to engage in discussions on the role played by foreign language teaching in transcending borders and enhancing globalisation. It is also seen as a platform wherein everyone involved in the teaching of a foreign language gets a chance to share his or her experience and learn from others.
The organising committee for the conference include DUT’s Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Dr Felix Awung, Dr Manqoba Ndlovu, Mr Thabani Khumalo, Ms Phumzile Xulu, Frank Lin WU, Ms Larisa Yu Lei, Deva Govindsamy, Sanele Ntuli, UKZN’s Prof Nobuhle Hlongwa, Dr Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst, Dr Gugu Mazibuko, and Dr Phindi Dlamini.
The conference seeks to create a platform for interaction amongst stakeholders from far and wide to share their exciting research and pedagogies to broaden and diversify the teaching of foreign languages and cultures in the quest for promotion of global mobility. Day One entailed a key note speech by UKZN’s Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, DVC and Head of College: Humanities. He teaches modules on African Psychology and Ethics, with reference to African philosophical underpinnings to ethics and also touching on the interface between culture, health and illness. He spoke on the subject of indigenous knowledge systems, morality/ethics and the self. The day also included The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) workshops, followed by an official launch and gala dinner at the end of the day.
Addressing the delegates at the official welcome launch was Professor Cheryl Potgieter from the Research, Engagement and Internationalisation Office Durban University of Technology (DUT), who spoke on behalf of DUT’s DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, in absentia.
She asked delegates to observe a moment of silence for all the those affected by gender based violence across the country. She then welcomed everyone, as well as DUT’s DVC-RIE in her absentia, the representatives from the Embassies, Governments, NGOs, and all academics and students present.
Prof Potgieter also spoke on the importance of such a conference, saying that foreign languages have become an important commodity in advancing networks and building relationships, hence there is a dire need for discourse on how teaching and learning of these languages could be advanced to better the cause.
She also thanked the organising committee colleagues from DUT, UKZN, Confucius Institute, and SADILAR that worked with great effort to make the conference happen. “I am happy to see this conference supported by so many students. Students are the next generation, and it will not be possible to have success without their participation,” she said.
Day Two concludes with more presentations by delegates topic pertaining to language attitudes, teaching a foreign language through music, embracing isiZulu as a foreign language, to name but a few.
The conference also envisages that by the end of today that language practitioners, researchers, education specialists and scholars across different disciplines can explore effective ways of advancing the teaching and learning of foreign languages to promote global mobility.
Pictured: DUT and UKZN delegates at the conference.