Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria (ISSV)In 1998, the Slovenian Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV) underwent a change of direction and broadening of scope. Slovenian classes were diminishing and we were now teaching the third generation of students, who no longer spoke or heard Slovenian at home. Slovenian was taught as a Second Language to fewer students and lacked suitable teaching resources.
STAV had done major curriculum work in the two major education reforms, established the VCE and accomplished much. Now it was time to review and question our role in supporting Slovenian language and culture. Where do we go from here? Is it perhaps time to stop? The answer to that last question was still: No! Not as long as VCE students are enrolling for VCE Slovenian and adults are enrolling to learn the language so that they can communicate with relatives and friends when visiting Slovenia.
As the nature of the Slovenian community changed we needed to think of new ways of maintaining Slovenian identity and if possible Slovenian language, despite gradual and definite language loss among the young and movement away from the initial cultural framework represented by Slovenian centres and associations. This was part of a larger issue that affected the next post-migrant generation and needed a broader response by a wider circle of individuals than teachers and the classroom. The question was therefore: how to create for our nearly “lost generation” a kind of ambience, a social circle that would draw them together into a group and provide ways to maintain their Slovenian identity?
The Institute of Slovenian Studies of Victoria (ISSV), established in 1998, is a broader form of STAV with a focus on increasing the reach of language and cultural studies. We have a nucleus of dedicated members, who believe that Slovenian heritage and Slovenian identity are of value and worth handing on to younger generations of Slovenian descendants.
Slovenian Language teachers, students and parents Association of Victoria (1986-1991)
Established at a time, when classes became smaller, and there were a great many changes in the educational system. It was felt that a closer contact should be established and maintained with parents. Principally we wanted to provide information about the changes in the school system and offered professional advice to parents about choices of educational streams, as well as the role of Slovenian language as part of the general education.
The more active among parents were encouraged to organize excursions and outings for the school and generally take interest in the study and importance of knowing Slovenian language.