The AMEP Research Centre has provided research and Professional Development, publications and information services to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) nationally since 1989. Recently, the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship announced that funding of the AMEP Research Centre would finish at the end of 2009. The following letter was sent to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in October 2009:
|Senator the Hon. Chris Evans|
Canberra ACT 2600.Dear Minister,Re: Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Research CentreI write to you representing the Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ATESOL), ACT. Membership of this Association includes the majority of teachers in the Adult Migrant English Program in the ACT.The Association has learned that the AMEP Research Centre will be closed at the end of this year. We understand that new models are in process of development to support research and development for the AMEP.Our members who teach in the AMEP have a considerable stake in the work carried out by the AMEP Research Centre. The Centre is responsible for on-going maintenance of the Assessment Task Bank, which is fundamental to the whole structure of curriculum, assessment, reporting and accountability in the AMEP. Our members also value the resources and various professional development activities for which the Centre is responsible. The Centre is really the only means by which AMEP managers and teachers in the ACT meet and interact with other AMEP teachers around Australia, which is essential to maintaining and improving their professionalism. Our Association’s submission to the AMEP Review last year stated:
Members greatly appreciate the PD offered by the AMEP Research Centre and believe it should continue. The Centre ensures a high level of professionalism in PD offerings, access to local and international developments, and coherence and direction in the PD program. … Members also greatly value opportunities provided by the AMEP Research Centre for participation and mentorship in practically oriented action research projects. … Members would welcome opportunities to learn about a greater variety of research, including more cutting edge and scholarly investigations relevant to their field, at both the AMEP Annual Conference and other professional conferences. Members do not understand why there is no AMEP conference this year and believe that annual conferences are essential.
Overall, the Centre has been crucial to the high quality of the AMEP in delivering English language and settlement programs to newly arriving adult migrants.
On behalf of ATESOL ACT, may I request that the national body to which we are affiliated—the Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA)—is a full participant in planning how the various roles played by the AMEP Research Centre are to continue and be improved? The ACTA President, Rosie Antenucci, has written to you in this regard.
At the local level, our request is that ATESOL ACT be included in consultations and information as the process continues.
Marina Houston (Aidman), MEd, PhD,
acting in the absence of Lona Thwaites, President, ATESOL ACT.
Cc: Rosie Antenucci, President, Australian Council of TESOL Associations.