Government Supports Second Language Classes

Government Supports Second Language Classes

Victoria Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras

Baillieu Government Committed To The Teaching And Learning Of Languages

Victor P Taffa

The teaching and learning of languages in schools needs to be better supported and strengthened after 11 years of Labor neglect, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras told Parliament.

Mr. Kotsiras said the learning of languages other than English was important from educational, cultural, social and economic perspectives.

“There has been a decline in the teaching and learning of languages in Victorian Government schools since 1997. The previous Labor Government had 11 years to promote language teaching and learning in our schools but instead ignored it, neglecting educational opportunities for thousands of Victorian students.”

“Without urgent intervention and renewed effort this decline is likely to continue.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

The Baillieu Government is committed to the teaching and learning of languages other than English being an essential part of every student’s education, and is committed to languages being taught in schools and throughout the community in order to maintain and increase language as a resource.

“The previous Labor Government ignored the significant educational benefits for students who learn languages, such as enhanced thinking and learning skills, as well as greater vocational options later in life in a wide range of career pursuits.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

“Learning another language can also give students an insight into another culture, leading to greater inter-cultural understanding.”

“When combined with language skills, this understanding has the potential to improve intercultural communication within Australia’s diverse society, contributing to the development of a more harmonious society and enhancing our international standing as a multicultural and multilingual nation.” Mr. Kotsiras said.

The Baillieu Government recognises the importance of European, Asian and Arabic languages and the role they play in Victoria’s future promoting opportunities for the teaching of languages in schools and the community.

The Baillieu Government’s Multilingual Victoria Plan Includes Commitments To:

  •  Revolutionise languages education in Victoria by creating one of the world’s most diverse and effective Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Programs;
  • Introduce compulsory LOTE classes for every Victorian primary school, with a long-term plan to provide LOTE learning for every government school student from Prep to Year 10 by 2025;
  • Build a cohort of language teachers qualified and trained to world’s best practice standard;
  • Increase the number of qualified language teachers by introducing scholarships for undergraduate teachers and qualified teachers to study languages;
  • Enhance and support the role of community language schools, by increasing per capita grants and securing an agreement for community language schools to utilise Government School facilities after hours.

“The Baillieu Government is committed to addressing the challenges in relation to the provision of languages in schools, and it is committed to a long-term plan to improve the teaching and learning of languages.” Mr. Kotsiras said.