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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 918 asked in the Legislative Council on 30 November 2017 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 30 November 2017

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION — COMPULSORY LANGUAGE COURSES — YEAR 3
      918. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Education and Training:
I refer to the decision to make it compulsory for all primary schools, both public and private, to teach a language from year 3.
(1) Can the minister table a list of schools that currently do not teach a language to year 3 students?
(2) If no to (1), why not?
      (3) What additional resources, including the amount of funding, will the Department of Education provide to the 269 schools that currently do not teach languages?
(4) What is the government's contingency plan for schools that are unable to attract a language teacher?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
      (1) I table the attached information listing public schools that currently do not teach a language to year 3 students. The Department of Education does not have data for non-government schools.
      [See paper 945.]
(2) Not applicable.
      (3) The department is investing $2 million to support public schools to implement compulsory language education from year 3 in 2018. This investment delivers a variety of strategies for schools commencing the delivery of a languages program in 2018, which includes the Ketawa Indonesian program for year 3 students that is designed to be delivered by classroom teachers; provide a detailed teaching and learning guide, including lesson plans, assessment tasks, written and visual texts, information and communications technology tools and classroom materials; be accessed through Connect; and assist teachers to plan lessons that meet the specific needs of their students. It also includes lead language schools, which will offer services including delivering an online language program to other schools; building system capacity to meet the needs of schools by brokering access to a language teacher either face to face or online; providing advice and support for inexperienced language teachers; supporting language pathways between primary and secondary schools; providing advice for school leadership teams; and building community links and partnerships to enhance and embed programs. Digital resources to support the teaching of French, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese in year 3 will be provided, and a program for re-entry language teachers and generalist primary school teachers who have an interest and some experience in language teaching or learning. Additional Aboriginal languages teacher training courses will also be provided to increase the number of teachers able to teach an Aboriginal language.
      (4) The supports described in (3) are the strategies to ensure all schools are able to deliver a language program, even if they are unable to recruit a languages teacher.