Monday, October 29, 2012

Asian languages in Australian schools?

All Australian schools will engage with at least one school in Asia to support the teaching of a priority Asian language: Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian or Japanese – announces Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister. The plans of maximizing links with Asia are included in „Asian Century White Paper”, a policy blueprint prepared by her government.
According to the document, Australia will work on forging deeper links with booming Asian economies, particularly with China, India, Indonesia and Japan. The actions will include teaching languages like Hindi and Mandarin to name the most important ones and spoken by a large number of people.

— While Australia was changing — Asia was changing too. Whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia's return to global leadership, Asia's rise – said prime minister Julia Gillard during her recent first official visit to India (quoted by “The Times Of India”).
She announced that all Australian schools will engage with at least one school in Asia to support the teaching of a priority Asian language: Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesia or Japanese.

My friend who has lived and taught English in of the biggest towns in Indonesia for some months informed me that nowadays Asian languages has been taught for several years in some secondary schools in Australia. At the time he was there his school cooperated with an Australian school. That would mean that what Mrs. Gillard said was not such a brand new thing. She must have meant broader and deeper cooperation.

Full article in „The Times Of India”: Oz eyes Asia to teach Hindi and Mandarin in schools
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