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

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Don’t Eat The Fish

On 'The Catch' by Michael Field What the ecologically edible lists don’t appear to take into account – and they should – is slavery... It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely near the top of my listicle of “5 Political Books You Must Read This Year”. More>>

ALSO:

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Monarchy: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Are Expecting Second Child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child. More>>

ALSO:

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news