Should Every Student in Australia Be Encouraged to Learn a Language in Addition to English?

One of the most important purposes of any educational process is to encourage students to learn languages and improve their level of knowledge. The necessity to choose languages for studies in Australia undergoes considerable changes and challenges since the latter part of the 21st century. English is the language spoken by the vast majority of population, however, there are also many other languages like French, German, Japanese, or Italian that has to be encouraged to be learnt in addition to English.

While some teachers and students may consider the offered idea as a negative or unnecessary practice in student life, it seems interesting and effective to encourage education of different languages in addition to English in order to support multilingual population of Australia as well as promote communication with different people for personal and professional needs.

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One of the first reasons to encourage a language to be learnt by Australian students in addition to English is the fact that there are migrants in the country who speak different languages at the same time.

There are “fifteen percent of students spoke another language in addition to English” (Oliver, Purdie & Rochecouste 2005, p. 29). Such cultural diversity among students is observed in all schools around the world, and the success of a particular educational system depends on how the teachers are able to integrate cultures and promote the use of various languages.

While it is often argued by some teachers that a variety of language may become an obstacle to general student education and “the process of integrating the graduate attributes into the academic curriculum has been far from unproblematic” (Dunworth 2010, p. 8). However, if students cannot express their thoughts and ideas using English only, the results of education cannot be called successful. Thus the idea to implement other languages education in addition to English seems to be a good and justified.

To support the idea of different languages education in addition to English, the importance of communication between different people to meet personal and professional goals has to be considered. Current technological and computing progress promotes the need of for communication. “Languages have a key role to play in this process of harmonisation and promotion of cultural diversity” (Cunningham 2001, p. 201).

Moreover, to succeed in communicative processes, people have to get appropriate level of knowledge and understand the meaning of each phrase and each point. While international relations may be developed by means of one language only so that people should spend much time of studying new information but strength their knowledge in some particular spheres.

However, it happens that people are not aware of English but still eager to develop communication so that it seems to be better to use another language that was studied in addition to English at school. Thus the idea to encourage each student study a new language does not have any negative outcomes but, vice versa, helps to improve future challenges and misunderstandings.

Although it is not always easy and appropriate to study several languages at the same time, some students want to improve their knowledge and get all chance to promote successful future. Teachers have to appreciate students’ desire and interests as well as take into consideration the fact cultural diversity that is inherent ti Australia. A language in addition to English should be studied by students who have to be encouraged, supported, and understood with their intentions and demands.

Reference List

Cunningham D 2001, ‘Language, technology, and teaching: challenges and solutions for the 21st century’, SAALT Journal for Language Teaching, vol. 35, pp. 201-222.

Dunworth, K 2010, ‘Clothing the emperor: addressing the issue of English language proficiency in Australian universities’, Australian Universities’ Review, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 5-10.

Oliver, R, Purdie, N, & Rochecouste, J 2005, ‘Affective aspects of language learning: beliefs, attitudes, efficacy’, Babel, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 29-38.

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