IML celebrates 85 years of language learning

10 May 2019

The Institute of Modern Languages (IML) is celebrating 85 years of connecting people around the world through community language learning.

The Senate of The University of Queensland established the IML on 11 May 1934 with a vision of enhancing international understanding and tolerance through language programs.

The Courier-Mail at the time reported, “By its decision to establish an Institute of Modern Languages the University Senate has done something that may have a valuable influence on the future of Australia.”

The Institute was founded with the intent of providing practical language courses for adult students and access to languages not available to secondary school students.

In 1934, IML offered 78 students the opportunity to learn one of three different languages: Italian, French, and German. The Institute proudly now offers over 30 languages and 1,300 students have enrolled so far this year.

The IML also offers one of Australia’s most comprehensive translation and interpreting services.

IML’s director Georgiana Poulter said IML is proud of its legacy in terms of supporting multiculturalism.

“Learning another language gives you an insider’s view of another culture and a new view of your own.”

Ms Poulter herself was a student of the IML at the age of 16, and still continues to enrol in language courses.

Georgiana also celebrates 20 years of service this year as Director of IML.

“Our students enrol for a wide range of reasons; including travel, enjoyment, business, cognitive benefits, connecting with family heritage and employment,” Ms Poulter said.

IML strives to continue to provide services that create a tangible link between The University of Queensland and the wider community.

Other services include providing personalised and customised tuition and language training for the Australian Defence Force.

To enrol in a language course contact the IML directly, and for more information about the IML, translation and interpreting services or language courses offered, please visit