All year five students in Queensland state schools will now learn a language in a move that is expected to boost education outcomes and give our children a better start in life.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said that up until now, it was mandatory for all Year 6 – Year 8 students to learn a language and this change delivered on the Government’s election promise to revitalise frontline services.
“Everything we do in education is directed towards better student results and it’s widely acknowledged that learning a language has a positive impact on a student’s overall literacy, enhancing their learning in other areas,” Mr Langbroek said.
“While this announcement ensures students can receive an extra year of language education from 2015, schools are still strongly encouraged to offer languages from Prep to Year 12.
“State schools decide which languages to offer in consultation with their school community.
“Successful language programs need a strong, shared commitment from both the school and community.”
The change to the Queensland Government’s mandatory languages policy coincides with a new plan released for consultation that sets out an exciting new era for languages education in state schools.
Mr Langbroek said the Global Schools – Creating successful global citizens proposal would see all state primary schools offer languages from Prep by 2025 and all state schools commence implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Languages in 2016.
“Thisproposal, that we will consult the community about, envisages a system in which all state primary schools will offer education in a language or languages other than English right from Prep,” he said.
“The Queensland Government strongly values the contribution that languages education makes both to individuals and to society as a whole.
“This is part of preparing our young people to thrive in a global society.
“Learning another language provides students with communication skills, opens their minds to new ideas and builds social and cultural understanding.”
Mr Langbroek said Queensland state schools should become familiar with the Australian Curriculum: Languages in 2015 ahead of its implementation in 2016.
“The teaching of languages in Queensland schools is already well established and widespread,” he said.
“Ultimately we want to see an increase in the number of students leaving Year 12 with high levels of language proficiency.
“This will require a strong workforce, quality school programs and strong leadership.”
One of the findings from the Queensland Plan was support for students having Asian language skills, with the majority of Queenslanders seeing this as an indicator of a flexible, future-focused curriculum in the state’s schools.
More information on the Global Schools – Creating successful global citizens plan is available athttp://education.qld.gov.au/
Currently more than 950 Queensland state schools are teaching a Language Other Than English (LOTE) to primary students, with around half of those, some 490, teaching Japanese.
In 2013, around 135,500 Prep to Year 12 state school students learned a language.