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

 

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Publishing: Unity Books On Plan To Close Te Papa Press

Unity Books is alarmed that Te Papa is proposing to suspend publishing by Te Papa Press for 4 or 5 years. Te Papa Press has proven time and time again that it has both award and bestseller capability and fulfils its kaupapa. More>>

ALSO:

Cinema: ‘The Desk’ Featuring Paul Henry To Have NZ Debut

The Documentary Edge Festival is thrilled to announce The Desk as a late entry to its 2015 Programme. The film, featuring local broadcaster Paul Henry, will have its international premiere on May 21 at 10pm at Q Theatre (book now at qtheatre.co.nz) with limited screenings also on offer in Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Art: Considering Feminisms In Aotearoa New Zealand: Two Projects

Feminism is something that has changed our lives. Recently, the activist Marilyn Waring reviewed the impact of feminism in Aotearoa New Zealand and reminded us that just 40 years ago banks wouldn’t lend women money without the guarantee of a man, ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news