It says while Victorian schools have higher participation rates in language-learning than other states - 17.6 per cent of students at state schools complete a language - this was low by international standards. ''Of all the students in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, Australian students spend the least time learning a second language,'' the report says.
So what of our state? South Australia? Globalisation means there is an increasing need for students to become multilingual, no just bilingual. Other countries have been addressing this through their educational delivery and international programmes. What have we been doing? We shall not be able to compete. The internet and online access has made it so easy to learn a language these day. Please, no excuses. Just get onto it. It's fun! The media can do much to highlight this since it is something which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Australians are good at getting on with it when they know what it is they need to get on with and our media is expert at highlighting issues and causes in a very clever and intelligent way when it wants to. If it means our indigenous languages will be picked up as a part of this internationalisation and multilingual approach to living , so much the better. Using the lowest common denominator - money - I am certain we could market learning aboriginal languages. They are complex and unique . Nothing wrong with a niche market and it would preserve heritage which ought to be preserved.