Language Arts and Media

Language Arts and Media

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day is recognised globally on 21 February each year. In celebration of this day, USP's School of Language, Arts & Media holds a competition for students across its region to promote understanding of the value of linguistic diversity.


In 2019, the International Year of Indigenous Languages, we are focusing on the importance of passing our languages on to the next generation. 

Fiji schools: Please click here for details of this year's topics and guidelines.

Other rounds will be run from local USP campuses, so keep an eye out for notifications.

Previous themes:

2018: Pacific languages for sustainable development

2017: Promoting the use of all our languages

2016: Celebrating linguistic diversity

Further details about the event and past winners can be found at

Bright Lights of Literacy

Suggested themes:

  • Supporting a culture of reading in any language
  • Supporting reading in the vernacular
  • Supporting reading in English as a second language
  • Supporting struggling readers in upper primary or secondary school
  • Using new technologies to support literacy
  • Developing critical literacy skills in the era of social media


  • 8 September 2018 Call for proposals launched (UNESCO International Literacy Day) 
  • 31 October 2018 Submission deadline 
  • November-December Successful applicants notified; final proposals formally agreed 
  • 30 July 2019 Projects to be completed
  • 31 August 2019 Reports and photos to be submitted, along with acquittal of funds

Teachers may apply for a maximum of FJD 1,000 but requests for smaller amounts are encouraged.

Submission process:

Completed submissions should be emailed to antoinette.parker(at) before the deadline. Submissions must include:

If any teacher has difficulty emailing their application to us, please seek assistance from your local USP campus director who can submit on your behalf.


A teacher who is currently employed at any primary or secondary school in any USP member country is eligible to apply. Departments or groups are welcome to apply, but each application must have one named teacher as the lead applicant.

Following the deadline, we will work with successful applicants to refine the proposal and budget if necessary. We will agree on the terms of the project, and sign a contract, before the project begins. We will provide support for the project in conjunction with USP campuses as appropriate.

Projects must be completed by 30 July 2019. Teachers will be asked to submit a short report with photographs (or equivalent) during the month following completion, which can be displayed by USP on International Literacy Day 2019.

A collaborative initiative:

This is a collaborative initiative between the School of Language, Arts & Media and the School of Education, with the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law & Education.


SLAM Seminar Series

SLAM Seminar Series

Oceania in Modernity

Professor Sudesh Mishra
Wednesday October 19, 5:00pm
FALE Meeting Room

Oceania, as has been demonstrated by Epeli Hau’ofa, David Chappell, Paul D’Arcy and Nicholas Thomas, has always been an arena linked via sea routes and therefore not defined by the landmass of islands.  With the arrival of political modernity in Oceania and with it the auto-centred nationally-defined territorial state, there was a forgetting of this older history of connections via trade, war, marriage, sailing, migration and gifting.  While scholars have attempted to revive this history through re-examining Oceania’s past, they have not accounted for how the porosity of this past, its interconnectedness, might be imaginatively re-configured as the region confronts the challenges of the digital age, ‘crisis’ modernity, climate-related dislocations and global hyper-mobility.  The gift of the imagination is to ‘transport’ (with the related sense of conveyance as a form of empathetic rapture and ecstasy) and this paper posits a new Oceania bound together by an imaginative contiguity that reinvents an older consciousness of ‘our sea of islands.’     
Sudesh Mishra’s latest work of scholarship, entitled ‘The Global South: Modernity and Exceptionality,’ is due to appear in Cambridge Critical Concepts: The Global South and Literature, Russell West-Pavlov (ed.), New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. 

Social Stigimitisation and Peer-Pressure faced by USP Student Journalists

Dr Shailendra Singh and Eliki Drugunalevu
Wednesday October 12, 5:00pm
FALE Meeting Room

This set of three case studies, with elements of problem-based learning, examines how USP student journalists handle various forms of coercion – threats, cyber bullying, and stigmatisation – from colleagues angered by news reports published in the student training newspaper, Wansolwara. The paper is part of ongoing research into applied learning and teaching through the 20-year-old USP student press. Previous research looked at how students overcame institutional challenges and skirted Fiji’s punitive media decrees in their coverage of the Fiji coups. But research on how students handle social pressure and coercion from contemporaries had been lacking. The presenters posit that as unpleasant as the hostile reactions are, they are a journalistic reality, and as such, not entirely unwelcome. Student reporters’ exposure to confronting situations provides a taste of what to expect as professional journalists, and consequently, good preparation for future challenges in the field. Preliminary learning outcomes indicate that the experience toughens students’ resolve. For those bearing the brunt of the vitriol, coping mechanisms such as guidance by lecturers, support from The USP Journalism Students Association, encouragement from family members, and due recognition of journalistic work at the annual USP journalism awards are critical. By highlighting crucial lessons learnt in the field, this paper reiterates the importance of applied journalism as an educational tool, and the significant role of student newspapers in this respect. This paper exemplifies original research concepts that emanate directly from, and feed back into, learning and teaching for deeper understanding and application.     

Dr Shailendra Singh is senior lecturer and the coordinator of  the USP journalism programme. His major geographical research area is the Pacific, with a focus on media development, conflict reporting and media policy.  
Eliki Drugunalevu is a postgraduate student in social policy and a teaching assistant in broadcast journalism. His research interests are in media policy.

For enquiries please contact Dr Singh on shailendra.singh(at)

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Page updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Language Arts and Media
School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education
The University of the South Pacific
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