This thesis was written by Anne Pauwels, a linguist and professor. The thesis was submitted as an unpublished master’s thesis at Monash University in 1980.

The main focus of the thesis is to examine how mixed marriages between Dutch immigrants and native Australians impact the use and maintenance of the Dutch language within the Dutch community in Australia.

It provides valuable insights into the impact of mixed marriages on language use and maintenance within the Dutch community in Australia. By examining 120 Dutch-Australian families, Pauwels investigates the factors contributing to language shift and the challenges faced by these families in maintaining the Dutch language. The research methodology includes interviews, questionnaires, and observations.

Although the thesis is unpublished, it demonstrates Pauwels’ expertise in the field and her commitment to understanding language dynamics in multicultural societies. The thesis serves as an important resource for scholars and researchers interested in language contact, bilingualism, and the sociolinguistics of immigrant communities.

The thesis is not available online. However, you can request access to it for private research and study by contacting your institution’s library service. Additionally, the thesis is held by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek Den Haag (Royal Library of The Hague) and can be located with the sign NL 94 H 4451.

Professor Anna Pouwels

Anne Pauwels was born in Belgium and obtained her first degree in Germanic Philology from the University of Antwerp.

She moved to Australia and completed her MA and PhD at Monash University, where she studied language contact and multilingualism among Dutch immigrants and other groups.  She was linguist professor at the University of Western Australia She also held the Foundation Chair of Linguistics at the University of New England.

She has published several works on the Dutch language in Australia, including the above mentioned  thesis  on the role of mixed marriages in language shift in the Dutch communities and a co-authored book chapter on the Dutch language in Australia.

She has also been involved in linguistic activism to promote the learning and maintenance of community and minority languages, including Dutch, in education and society.

After she moved from Australia to the UK she became Dean-Designate for the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at SOAS University in London (School of Oriental and African Studies).  She is currently (2023) Head of the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

Her fields of research focus on social and sociolinguistic aspects of multilingualism, gender and language and language policy in higher education.

Publications ‪Anne Pauwels – ‪Google Scholar

Prof. Anne Pauwels: Heritage and Community Languages in Higher Education, SOAS, University of London. Lecture from 2010

Since the late 1980s, Australia’s language situation has been guided by a comprehensive language policy with main principles including:

  • English for all
  • A second language for all
  • The protection and maintenance of Australian Indigenous languages
  • Language services for those who do not (yet) have English language competency

While the subsequent language policies have undergone changes in name, format, and emphasis, these four principles have been consistently maintained. Federal and state-based language education policies have primarily focused on providing English language education and community language education (also known as Languages other than English).

In most states in Australia, the learning of another language (second, community, foreign) in either primary, secondary, or both levels of education is part of the core curriculum. The range of languages offered is extensive, and final exams can be taken in over 40 languages. Recognising that students have varying levels of competency, efforts have been made to accommodate these differences. Schools are increasingly utilising different models of teaching community languages, such as bilingual classes and immersion programs, which are likely to enhance students’ proficiency levels.

While school-based language education in Australia continues to face challenges, it is relatively healthy compared to other English-language communities. However, the situation of community languages in universities presents more significant challenges. In this presentation, I will outline these challenges and report on a nationwide project developed to address the current issues concerning community languages in higher education.