Community language programs in Australian schools: policy at the crossroads

Mansouri, Fethi 2006, Community language programs in Australian schools: policy at the crossroads, International journal of learning, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 55-62.

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Title Community language programs in Australian schools: policy at the crossroads
Author(s) Mansouri, FethiORCID iD for Mansouri, Fethi
Journal name International journal of learning
Volume number 12
Issue number 4
Start page 55
End page 62
Publisher Common Ground Publishing
Place of publication Altona, Vic.
Publication date 2006
ISSN 1447-9494
Keyword(s) foreign language teaching
language policy
Summary The linguistic situation in Australia today presents an intriguing case for sociolinguistic inquiries. Despite the recent waves of migration from non Anglo-Celtic regions, the majority of Australians today are primarily monolingual with English being the dominant language. More critical, perhaps, is the diminishing appeal of second language learning even among second generation speakers of the large ethnic communities. This is indeed ironic giving that prior to white settlement in Australia, the Aboriginal inhabitants were predominantly multilingual with more than 250 languages (and many of their dialects) spoken by the 300 000 original inhabitants at the time when Captain James Cook's ship reached Botany Bay in Sydney in 1770. Given the size of the post-War migration, it was not until 1987 that the Australian government adopted a formal national policy on languages becoming 'the first English-speaking country to have such a policy and the first in the world to have a multilingual languages policy' (Australian Alliance for Languages 2001: 2). This paper will discuss the historical context for multilingualism in Australia and the current trend in government policy and funding. It will provide insights into community language programs and the challenges of remaining viable and relevant in the current social and political climate. Statistical analyses will be used to highlight emerging trends and future prospects.
Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Common Ground, Fethi Mansouri
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