Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Govt investment may halt decline in language learning

Press Release

Government investment may halt decline in language learning

A $10 million Government investment in the provision of Asian languages in schools may help halt New Zealand’s rapid decline in language learning, says AUT University’s Head of Language and Culture, Associate Professor Sharon Harvey.

Over the past few years, the number of students studying a second language has dropped drastically. “It’s great to see action being taken. Asia is vitally important to New Zealand on many fronts, and it is becoming increasingly important that New Zealanders are equipped with the strong intercultural skills needed to work productively in this arena,” says Associate Professor Harvey.

Yesterday, the New Zealand Government announced it will invest $10 million over five years to increase the study of Asian languages in schools. The contestable fund will help schools establish new Mandarin, Japanese or Korean language programmes, and enhance existing Asian language programmes.

While Associate Professor Harvey welcomes the move to encourage languages to be learnt, she cautions that rolling out the initiatives stimulated by the funding won’t be easy.

“There are many practical challenges ahead, particularly building the pool of language teachers in New Zealand. Lifting our proficiency in Asian languages will take substantial resourcing, and will need to be carefully planned for.”

She also calls for a more complete view to be taken, advocating a policy that also supports non-Asian languages, and that preserves and improves language proficiency in bilingual school children of all ages.

“We need a comprehensive ‘languages in education policy’ that coherently considers all issues surrounding languages in schools. We should avoid pitting some languages against others for resources, and work to protect the natural language resources New Zealand has gained through our sizeable diasporic communities.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

Language Learning Statistics in New Zealand
Numbers of students learning an additional language in Years 9-13:
Mandarin
2008: 1,726
2012: 2,849
Korean
2006: 141
2012: 0
Japanese
2006: 18,489
2012: 12,473

Associate Professor Sharon Harvey

Associate Professor Sharon Harvey is Head of the School of Language and Culture, and Deputy Dean of Research for the Faculty of Culture and Society at AUT University.

She was an ESOL and workplace literacy teacher for many years, and over the past 15 years has been closely involved in the development of postgraduate programmes and research AUT University.

Sharon led three national Ministry of Education research evaluations over the period 2007-2011, in the areas of languages in education.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news