Publication details [#63532]

Bouvet, Eric, Daniela Cosmini, Maria Palaktsoglou and Lynn Vanzo. 2017. ‘Doing good’ in Italian through student community engagement. The benefits of language placements. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 40 (2) : 159–175.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This article discusses a community engagement pilot program for language students offered at Flinders University. For a number of years, the Language in Action program has provided placement opportunities for language students in a range of community settings such as aged-care agencies and cultural associations. From an educational perspective, Language in Action draws from the Deep Approach to World Language Education, which places students in charge of their learning experience and promotes meaningful interactions with communities. The program is also designed to encourage students’ prosocial behavior, contributing to developing a sense of meaning in life, relationship satisfaction, and wellbeing. Through Language in Action, students have opportunities not only to improve their language and intercultural skills in near immersion settings, but also to establish social connections with individuals from migrant groups. This article discusses the placement experiences of language students, focusing on students of Italian, in aged-care contexts. It presents the rationale of the Language in Action program in light of some core principles of Positive Psychology. It discusses the program’s implementation, preliminary data on students’ evaluations of their language development, and the sense of achievement they derive from their placements.