Young Australians encouraged to learn second language

More young Australians will learn another language after the Australian Government announced a new AUS$10m community languages grant program now open for applications.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the grant program will deliver a stronger Australia.

“Learning a language other than English helps prepare students for a workforce which is increasingly global and competitive,” Mr Tudge said. “We want more children and students learning a foreign language, which will in turn have positive impacts well into the future.”

About 1,000 community language schools across Australia may be eligible for the grants. These schools specialise in 69 different languages and teach more than 100,000 school-aged children.

“Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world, with Australians speaking more than 300 different languages,” Mr Tudge said. “Not only does speaking another language assist on the global stage, it also strengthens social cohesion by connecting young Australians to other cultures.”

Under the program, eligible language schools that apply for funding will receive a base payment of $1,500, as well as a per capita amount of funding based on student enrolment numbers, capped at a maximum of $30,000 per school per year.

The funding may be used to assist with operational costs such as staff wages, teaching materials and resources.

Applications for the first stream of funding will close on 17th February 2020.

A second stream of funding will open in early 2020, with up to $25,000 available for projects that support the community language school sector through the development of teaching resources and professional development programs.

Article published 18th December 2019