28 November 2011

Asian language should be mandatory for Australian schoolchildren

Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop has said that she will push to have this plan made coalition policy before the next federal election. Another bold plan proposed that is bound to cause trouble for state education departments, teachers, parents and students. I look forward to seeing what transpires. Asian language should be mandatory for Australian schoolchildren

Other articles of interest. Language study shuts up

NSW Education Department statistics;

  • 43% drop in students studying languages in the last 15 years
  • There has been a drop of 50,000 students studying Japanese since 1996
  • Less than 9% of this years Year 12 students in NSW will sit a language exam
  • NSW students are only required to study 100 hours of a language in years 7 or 8

While the Victorian Government has plans to make a second language compulsory for all students from prep to year 10 by 2015. Our kids to learn new lingo

If the number of students does not increase Australian student will fall behind international education standards. Generations of Australians will not have skills to develop business, political and economic relationships with Asia. Without government intervention language learning will further decline.

Alarming and disturbing news indeed. I wonder if we have reached rock bottom yet.

Something to balance all the negative reports I have been blogging recently A feel good story can be found here. Teacher's leadership in languages applauded However, reading this carefully there is sound advice and warnings about current langauge learning in schools.

Meanwhile in Sweden. 'Every school must teach Chinese' Go Sweden Go!


  1. Not being a parent of Australian school kids, I am in no position to comment on the compulsory nature of the proposed policy. But emphasis on Asian languages seems to be a global trend. Here in the United States, Asian languages are being integrated more and more into school curricula (although not mandatory) and into college admission processes. For example, the Advanced Placement (AP) Test program began offering Japanese in 2006 and Chinese in 2007, whereas the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) program has been offering Japanese, Chinese and Korean tests since the 1990’s.

  2. Its obvious that this second language should be mandatory in Australian education.


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