[lg policy] Australia: Kids to learn new lingo

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 27 17:03:51 UTC 2011

Kids to learn new lingo

    by: Evonne Barry
    From: Herald Sun
    November 22, 2011 12:00AM

PRIMARY school children will spend more than an hour a week learning a
foreign language under a Federal Government overhaul. All children
will be required to study a language, throughout primary and secondary
school, under national curriculum guidelines released by Education
Minister Peter Garrett yesterday. And the teaching of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander languages will also become a priority, to
"encourage their revival and maintenance".

The guidelines include minimum requirements for class time spent on a
second language. Primary school children should spend at least 350
hours from prep to grade 6, accounting for 5 per cent of total
teaching time. This would jump to 8 per cent of students' total class
time in secondary school, with a minimum of 320 hours over years 7-10.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related Coverage

    Confidence up as language barriers vanish Courier Mail, 6 Oct 2011
    Class focus put on three Rs Courier Mail, 18 Aug 2011
    Talking skills vital in kids' ability to learn Adelaide Now, 16 Aug 2011
    'Every school must teach Chinese' Herald Sun, 6 Jul 2011
    Asian languages a priority for WA students Perth Now, 11 Jun 2011

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

The announcement follows a push by the Victorian Government to make a
second language compulsory for all students from prep to year 10 by

State Education Minister Martin Dixon said a second language would not
be compulsory for VCE students, but he predicted the take-up rate
would naturally increase.

Mr Dixon said local regions would work together to provide continuity
of languages for children moving from primary to secondary school.

"But that's not the be all and end all of languages education ... the
process is as important as the outcome," he said.

"The obvious outcome is that children learn another language, but
going through the process strengthens their first language anyway."

Courses for Mandarin and Italian will be the first to be developed by
the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

They will be followed by Arabic, Auslan (sign language), classical
languages, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese,
Korean, modern Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, and others
including Aboriginal languages.

Mr Garrett said technology meant there was no longer any barrier to
schools teaching second languages.

"The technology is there for us to expand language teaching for every
school, and to every student no matter where they live," he said.


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