The Language as a Social Justice Issue conference held at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup

The Language as a Social Justice Issue conference held at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup

MANY people take communication for granted.

But a conference at ECU will hear how those with poor language skills face problems, from missing out on health care to higher incarceration rates.

The Language as a Social Justice Issue conference, at ECU’s Social Justice Research Centre on November 25 and 26, will include ECU experts in language and social justice.

Monash University’s Pamela Snow will deliver the Just World Lecture.

Associate Professor Snow will speak about her research that shows almost half of young men in Victorian jails are classified as language impaired.

‘Young males in the youth justice system are a hidden group with respect to communication impairments, with some 50 per cent having language profiles that place them in a clinical range,’ she said.

‘Victorian data on non-indigenous offenders should extrapolate well to other states, including WA, and we are currently analysing data on an indigenous sample from NSW.’

Other ECU speakers will include Justine Dandy who will speak on the importance of English language proficiency for immigrant and refugee communities.

‘Learning the dominant language is a key factor in successful settlement in a new country, but there are often many barriers that prevent recent arrivals from developing language proficiency’ she said.

Researchers and members of the public are invited to attend the conference.

For more information, visit the event webpage on www.ecu.edu.au.