Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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This paper compares two sets of data from the same year, 2001 – the numbers of students taking languages other than English at primary and secondary level, and census statistics for the home use of languages other than English. The data draws attention to languages that are taught principally in day schools and those taken mainly in after hours programs, and to variation between States and between education systems. While it is acknowledged that the strong presence of a language in the community is not the only reason for offering it in schools, the paper demonstrates that some important international languages are now among the major community languages and that some of them are marginal in the mainstream education systems in Australia. The presence of large numbers of speakers will facilitate the utilization of community resources in language teaching. Consideration needs to be given especially to Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Spanish, community languages with increasing numbers, the first two especially among the young.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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