Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitGerman Studies
Monash Passport categoryResearch Challenge (Investigate Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Heinz Kreutz


The unit connects language students with bilingual residents in the community who are native speaker of the respective target language. Students will be individually paired with elderly bilingual and engage in the target language during fortnightly conversation sessions.


The unit aims to:

  1. Development of linguistic and socio-cultural competence: Language learners benefit from naturalistic interactions with native speakers in genuine acquisition settings. This is particularly pertinent in situations where students have limited exposure to native speakers, as is the case in Australia, as opposed to Europe.
  2. Intergenerational empathy: The younger generation is generally disconnected from older member of the community. At the same time, many elderly ageing residents feel isolated and disengaged. More engagement with local communities, becoming involved in mentoring schemes and opportunities to use their native language contribute to healthy and positive ageing. Existing language potential in our community constitutes a significant cultural and linguistic resource which remains under-utilised. The proposed initiative aims to take advantage of untapped potential by re-connecting the two demographics using a shared interest in language and culture.
  3. Contextualisation of Language Learning: The proposed unit will add a practical dimension to existing linguistics units which focus primarily on theory, i.e. Second Language Acquisition and Attrition, Sociolinguistics, Language and Identity etc., and also the language classroom. The new unit will add an important practical dimension to existing, more artificial, classroom settings. It will enhance the School's curriculum by embedding participatory approaches to language education and participatory action research.


Within semester assessment: 80%
Exam: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

The unit will not be available to off-campus students

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Level 6 language or above, with permission of participating language program