Slaughter, Yvette, Joseph Lo Bianco, Renata Aliani, Russell Cross, & John Hajek (2019, December). Language programming in rural and regional Victoria: Making space for local viewpoints in policy development. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 42(3), 274-300. (Link:

Abstract: Despite decades of often ambitious policies in Australia, languages education is still characterized by intermittent commitment to the teaching of languages, with inequitable access particularly entrenched in rural and regional contexts. While research has focused on the practical and material constraints impacting on policy implementation, little research has investigated the role of the discursive terrain in shaping expectations and limitations around what seems achievable in schools, particularly, from the school principal perspective. Beginning with an overview of policy interventions and an analysis of contemporary challenges, we use Q methodology to identify and analyze viewpoints at work in similarly-positioned rural and regional schools. In doing so, we seek to determine what seems possible or impossible across settings; the role of principals in enabling and constraining pathways for the provision of school language programs, and the need for macro-level language policy to be informed by constraints specific to rural and regional contexts.

Yvette Slaughter <> is in the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.