[lg policy] Australia: Many Queensland state schools not teaching foreign languages despite education policy
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Sat Dec 10 15:28:21 UTC 2011
Many Queensland state schools not teaching foreign languages despite
by: Tanya Chilcott
From: The Courier-Mail
December 10, 2011 12:00AM
STUDENTS at nearly 80 state schools weren't taught a foreign language
this year despite the subject's mandatory status being reinstated.
Schools have particularly struggled to find Japanese teachers, with
many applicants failing a proficiency test. Figures revealed in the
latest Queensland Teachers Union journal show 76 schools were not
teaching a foreign language in Semester 2.
The Courier-Mail revealed nearly two years ago that Education
Queensland had dropped the mandatory status of foreign languages,
prompting a backlash from the State Government who ordered that status
be reinstated in Years 6, 7 and 8. Of the 76 schools not yet
delivering a language, 41 were seeking Japanese teachers in September
with high failure rates among those taking the language proficiency
"The QTU requested an external review of the (Japanese proficiency)
test and has been informed that this has been undertaken by the
University of South Australia with generally positive results," the
"It has been evaluated as a fair and appropriate test, with the
exception of writing, where the evaluators found that the standard
required for adequate was too low."
But Education Queensland executive director Sharon Mullins said that
since September the department had recruited a further 30 Japanese
teachers, with only 10 now needed.
"State schools are on target to achieve the goal of 100 per cent
delivery of mandatory languages by Term 1, 2012," she said.
Education Queensland acting assistant director-general Tom Barlow said
the department made no apologies for setting high standards and
expecting teachers to reach them.
He said language teachers were required to undertake the proficiency
assessment as part of the recruitment process, while permanent staff
only needed to take a test if they wanted to teach an additional
language or had been away for more than two years.
Ms Mullins said the most popular languages taught in state schools
were Japanese, German, Italian, French and Mandarin.
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