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Nzei Supports Language Teaching In Schools

Nzei Supports Language Teaching In Schools

Wellington – NZEI Te Riu Roa supports the idea of teaching a second language to intermediate age children but says for this to succeed the government must ensure that schools have qualified language teachers.

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has backed a recommendation of a curriculum stocktake report that says schools should work towards offering instruction in a second language, for students aged from 11 to 14.

NZEI Te Riu Roa represents primary, intermediate and area school teachers and principals.

“We think the idea of teaching a second language to students from Year 7, the old Form One, through to Year 10 or Fourth Form, is a good one,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.

“But there is work to be done to make this happen and it will only succeed if there is a reliable supply of teachers who are qualified to teach languages.”

“If the government is really interested in pursuing this policy and will train language teachers, and help existing teachers become qualified in this area, NZEI Te Riu Roa would be happy to work with them to make it happen.”

“The union would not want learning a second language to be done at the expense of students gaining a good grounding in literacy and numeracy, or at the expense of students learning Maori, as it is clear Maori who are strong in their language are better equipped to realise their full potential.”

“But it is also clear from research that learning a second language benefits students intellectually, socially and culturally. So if this policy is well planned and well resourced it should help students build and develop their overall language skills,” says Bruce Adin.

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