MEDIA RELEASE: LABOR’S PLAN TO GET MORE AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN LEARNING LANGUAGES - FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2019

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON

LABOR’S PLAN TO GET MORE AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN LEARNING LANGUAGES

A Shorten Labor Government will invest an extra $8 million in community language schools so more Australian children get the chance to learn other languages.
 
Currently, community language schools teach mostly school age kids.  But the younger someone starts learning another language, the easier it is to pick up.  That’s why we’ll help more community language schools open up their classes to pre-schoolers as well as school age children. 
 
Grants of up to $25,000 per school will allow language programs to be expanded to preschool children.  The grants could also go towards the costs of setting up a new school, better teacher training, or classroom resources. 
 
Community language schools have been operating in Australia for more than 150 years.  There are now about 700 community language schools across the country, teaching around 100,000 students in over 80 languages. 
 
Community language schools are not-for-profit and operate outside mainstream school hours, often on a Saturday.  They are open to all students regardless of their linguistic or cultural background.  The schools can assist children of migrants retain the language and culture of their parents, grandparents and community members who may have learned English as a second language.
 
The more Australians we have learning languages other than English, the better for our economy, and our society.  Community language schools contribute to Australia’s standing as a successful multicultural nation.  They help preserve and celebrate cultures and traditions and promote diversity, inclusion, and respect.
 
FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2019