“Language skills and cultural sensitivity will be the currency of this new world order.”
— General Peter Cosgrove, speaking to a conference concerned with the state of Languages learning in Australian schools, 30 May 2002.
Why Study Languages?
According to www.languagesopenthedoor.edu.au (a federal government languages advocacy initiative):
- Languages open the door to a bigger world!
- The obvious reason is to enable more effective communication with the non-English-speaking peoples of the world.
- In learning a new language, students can learn things that they can learn in no other way.
- Second language learning can be an important aid to the development of literacy and generic cognitive and life skills.
- Second language proficiency opens career opportunities for students that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
- Second language proficiency is valuable to students for many of their own personal reasons.
- Internationalisation and global connections are becoming more common through schools.
- Our children need to be ready for a global future and all the challenges that this brings.
In Their Own Words
|"Being multilingual has opened up many career avenues for me around the globe within my chosen areas of food, wine, tourism and fashion. I found learning another language at a young age particularly valuable; it has made it much easier for me to pick up other languages subsequently."
— Olivia Stratton, Master of Gastronomy, TV Presenter, former Miss World Australia, and Languages Champion.
|"Learning another language at school and then cementing it through an overseas exchange gave me a skill that has benefited me my entire life - I can't imagine what I would be doing without it."
— Dr James Bradfield Moody, CSIRO Scientist, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and Languages Champion.
|"There is no faster and more conclusive way to prove to a foreigner that you are dedicated and truly interested in them than speaking their language. There are few skills that have such value in today’s global marketplace."
— Major Michael Stone, East Timor peace negotiator Australian Defence Force, and Languages Champion.