The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum is delighted at the positive attitude of the ACT Government towards language teaching and learning in the National Capital.

CMCF’s Education Adviser, Mandy Scott, said a meeting between the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, John Hargreaves, Community Languages Australia, representatives of Canberra’s ethnic schools and the ACT Department of Education, has shown strong support for a round table discussion on languages education in the ACT. This would involve key stakeholders including groups representing teachers, principles, parents, business leaders and tertiary institutions.

Dr Scott said this would be an excellent move as it would bring the work of the weekend ethnic schools and other multilingual resources, such as community radio, into the mainstream.

“I believe this will enhance the ACT Government’s recent initiatives to expand the teaching of languages in public schools,” she said. “It will also ensure significant involvement of the multicultural community in the debate, which is something the CMCF has been seeking for some time.

“We still have a long way to go – at this stage we are only talking about having more talks – but I am hopeful the momentum is being established for a broader approach to languages education which will maximise the educational, social and economic benefits for Canberra’s students and the ACT community as a whole.”

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