[lg policy] Australia: Don't start with Asian tongues

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 17 21:26:16 UTC 2009

Forwarded From:  edling at lists.sis.utsa.edu

The Australian

Don't start with Asian tongues

Australian language policy is in crisis. A concerted national effort
is needed to ensure that all students finish year 12 with proficiency
in a second language. Bilingualism must be the minimum policy aim, as
in Europe.

State and federal authorities should nominate a few priority languages
along with stepped-out attainment targets: that is, 30 per cent of
year 12 students should have a second language by 2012, 50 per cent by
2015 and 100 per cent by 2020.

The emphasis should be on those European languages with which English
has an affinity: German, French, Spanish and Italian. These tongues
have a dual action: they are relatively easy to learn and enrich one's
knowledge of English.

Full story:


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