Languages in schools

What we’ll do

A Marshall Liberal Government will ensure students across South Australia have the intercultural capabilities they need to succeed in the increasingly globalised world in which they live by reinvigorating the study of languages in South Australian schools.

We will:

  • review the stage 2 SACE requirements, including subject numbers and the Research Project
  • enable four additional public schools to offer the International Baccalaureate for high achieving students
  • expand options for SACE language study through enhanced Ethnic Schools and Open Access College programs and School of Languages intensive holiday courses
  • expand Languages Alive holiday programs for primary students
  • provide innovative Language Program Grants for primary schools
  • improve professional development opportunities for language teachers
  • provide scholarships for language teachers to improve their language skills
  • work with universities to review the demand for new language teachers and the language content of teaching degree courses.

Why we’re doing it

When Labor came to office in 2002, 11.8% of Year 12 students in South Australia were undertaking language studies.

In 2016 only 4.9% of students studied a language other than English in Year 12.

Despite the Weatherill Government’s Chinese engagement strategy, the study of the Chinese language by Year 12 students has dropped from 1.9% in 2002 to just 0.9% in 2016.

Learning a second language is beneficial for students’ general academic development – with a clear link between learning another language and literacy development in English.

Learning a language other than English is also becoming increasingly important in a globalised market, with many countries refocussing on the importance of having a bilingual workforce to take full advantage of international trade links.

That’s why a Marshall Liberal Government will focus on reinvigorating the study of languages in schools.