Community languages school raise the bar

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Teachers in up to ten Community Languages Schools are to begin a trial that will include up to 1000 students aimed at boosting the quality of teaching in those schools.

The Sydney Institute of Community Languages Education (SICLE), established by Sydney University, has contracted a company to supply new learning management tools, which are also designed to improve operational procedures such as enrolment and attendance records.

Education Minister Rob Stokes and Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams today announced funding of $1.78 million for the new online management system and for SICLE’s delivery of professional learning to the Community Languages School’s volunteer teachers.

The initiatives follow the announcement last year by Premier Gladys Berejiklian of $10.9 million in funding over three years to build the capacity of these schools.

“This represents a major investment in supporting students wishing to develop or learn their home language,” Mr Stokes said.

Community languages teachers will also be able to access new resources aligned with the NSW K-10 Languages syllabus.

Mr Williams said the importance of language in maintaining cultural identity cannot be overestimated.

“We are very pleased and proud to extend our support for Community Languages Schools as they cater for growing enrolments and deliver lessons in more languages,” Mr Williams said.

Under the program, approximately 35,000 students access community languages classes out of school hours to study 58 languages in 545 locations across NSW. Enrolments have increased by more than 10 per cent over the past five years.

There are 200 scholarships available each year for volunteer community language teachers to undertake professional learning at Sydney University, focusing on strengthening their teaching skills to further support the delivery of this important program.

Agreement has also been reached with the NSW Education Standards Authority to develop new syllabuses in Hindi, Macedonian, Persian (Dari/Farsi), Punjabi and Tamil, through an investment of $700,000 by the NSW Government.


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