New holiday languages program launches

Senior secondary aged students from across South Australia will have the opportunity to extend their language skills through a new holiday program focusing on building oral skills in Italian and Japanese.

Let’s Talk! is an intensive holiday program aimed at South Australian students enrolled in Stage 1 or Stage 2 continuers level Italian or Japanese language pathway.

In the July school holidays, the program will be expanded to French, Spanish, German, Indonesian and Chinese.

It forms part of a $12.2 million Languages in Schools initiative announced by the Government, which seeks to enhance the teaching and learning of languages in South Australian schools.

Education Minister John Gardner said the Government is committed to giving students greater opportunities to study languages at all stages of their schooling.

“Learning a second language is becoming increasingly important in a globalised market, with many countries focused on growing their bilingual workforce. We want our children and young people to take full advantage of that,” said Minister Gardner.

“South Australia is a proud multicultural state, and we have an opportunity to harness this diversity to further drive our economic growth.

“The Liberal Party has long advocated for a stronger focus on children and young people learning a second language, and that’s why we’ve put more than $12 million behind the Languages in Schools initiative.

“There is no more important time to reinvigorate the study of languages in our schools.”

The Let’s Talk! program will include engaging and highly interactive language and cultural experiences with the aim of improving students’ proficiency in Italian and Japanese.

The focus of all sessions will be on the oral use of Italian and Japanese, with groups capped at 12 students.

University students will also share their recent in-country experiences throughout the program and tertiary lecturers will provide information on university language pathways and future job opportunities for language learners.

“These holiday programs are an excellent opportunity for students nearing the end of their schooling to engage with their language study in a new way,” said Minister Gardner.

“The former Labor Government oversaw a significant decline in the number of students who undertake language studies, with the proportion of Year 12 students studying languages dropping dramatically during their time in government.

“This program will support language retention and skills and promoted increased SACE achievement while also encouraging students to continue with tertiary language studies.

“This engaging and highly interactive program will allow students to hone their oral language skills while also developing connections with like-minded students.”

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