NSW government commits $400,000 more to community languages

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Minister for Citizenship and  Communities  and Assistant Minister for Education Victor Dominello on 28th of February announced an additional $400,000 in funding to support the state’s  community  language  schools network.

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Says the minister who himself is of Italian heritage that language learning is quite important and that the government wants to support community language schools to help improve the quality of teaching and also formalising languages taught outside school hours in Saturday and Sunday schools.

He said, “The government will not implement programs rather we want you to come up with ideas and proposals to improve the quality of teaching with better trained teachers and also providing formal recognition to languages taught in these community schools.”

Mr Dominello, who made the announcement at a Chinese  Language School in Eastwood, said that under the  Communities  United Through Language  reforms total funding for  community  languages  in NSW will increase to over $6 million per year.

“The Baird Government recognises the value of students learning the language  of their heritage and maintaining links with their  communities both here and abroad,” he said.

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“We are proud to be investing at record levels in our  Community Language  Schools network, which teaches 32,000 students in over 50 different  languages  across 250 organisations.

“Over 20 per cent of people in NSW speak a  language  other than English at home and as our state’s economy continues to grow ”“ so too does the value of our multilingual workforce ”“ which provides invaluable human links to our major trading partners.

“The  Communities  United Through  Language  reforms, which have been developed in consultation with the  community  languages  sector, will enhance opportunities for teachers to undertake professional development and improve student participation in NSW.

Mr Dominello said the reforms would provide greater incentives for community  language  students by, for the first time:

  • Providing formalrecognition of  Community  Language School learning through  Record of School Achievement (RoSA)  for graduating students;
  • Awarding Certificates of Participation to primary school students who successfully complete 12-months in  community  languages  schools program;
  • Making it easier for smaller  language  groups to establish community  language  schools by reducing the minimum number of students required from 30 to 20;
  • Establishing a  Community  LanguageAmbassador’s Program  encouraging high profile individuals to promote the benefits of  community  language  learning; and
  • Creating a website to serve as a one-stop-shop for NSW  Community Language  Schools programs to provide information to parents, students and teachers.

 

“Since their establishment  community  language  schools  have enabled thousands of students to develop skills and competency in a second language,” Mr Dominello said.

“The Baird Government has worked in partnership with the  community languages  sector to develop this package of reforms to ensure our community  language  schools continue to prosper into the future.

“Multilingualism is a significant asset to our state and  community language  schools can be proud of its contribution towards building these grassroots program which is widely treasured in our  community,” Mr Dominello said.

“Consistent with the aims of  Communities  United Through  Language, we will seek advice from the  Community  Languages  Schools Board to determine how these new funds will be used to meet the needs of the community  language  schools programs.”

Chair of the NSW  Community  Languages  Schools Board Jozefa Sobski, “I welcome the Government’s commitment to enhancing professional development for volunteer teachers.

“Quality teachers contribute to quality  language  learning. We must support and recognise their contribution.”

NSW Federation of  Community  Language  Schools President Albert Vella said, “We warmly welcome this package of reforms and look forward to working with the NSW Government to ensure the benefits flow down to our students and volunteer teachers.”

Further information about the  Communities  United Through  Language reforms is available at:  http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/what-we-offer/community-programs.

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