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Asian languages key to future education

Asian languages key to future education article image
Minister for Education Julia Gillard yesterday announced funding of $46,000 through the School Languages Program (SLP), to extend and update the 2005-2008 National Statement and Plan for Languages Education in Australian Schools. Together with the new National Curriculum being developed for languages and the significant new investment in Asian languages, this funding will help to ensure more Australian students graduate high school proficient in a second language, particularly the languages of our key Asian neighbours: China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. The Rudd Government has set a framework for Australian students to acquire the language skills necessary to engage in trade, commerce and further study in the future, with at least 12 percent of students completing year 12 fluent in one of the key Asian languages by 2020. Currently, less than 14 percent of Australian year 12 students study a foreign language, and only 5.8 percent study an Asian language in year 12.

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