Friday, November 25, 2011

2nd Languages in Australian Schools

Australia is planning to add as many as 15 languages into its National Curriculum - including sign language. Study of a second language will not become mandatory in school, but the opportunity will be there from students from the time they enter kindergarten. The move was prompted by a paper from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, which stated the goal of having young students spent at least 5% of their study time learning another language. Courses in Italian and Mandarin languages will be developed first. However, not everyone agrees with the shift. The New South Wales Education Department claims it will lead to teacher shortages and too many students in second language classrooms.