Promoting language learning

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Learning another language is an exciting experience for young children. While they have fun discovering new and unique ways of expressing themselves, they also exercise and strengthen their brains.

The best time to start learning a language is early in life, so from 2015, all government schools provide languages education for Prep students. By 2025, languages education will be universal from Prep to Year 10.

Learning another language helps develop essential areas of children's brains. It also helps them to think more creatively, connect ideas and solve problems more easily.

The links to language video testimonials, web pages, online articles, posters, pamphlets and brochures below provide information schools can use to promote learning a language in both school and community settings.

Language Video Testimonials

Language Video Testimonials is an online communications resource promoting the benefits of learning a language and targeting secondary students, school leaders, parents and the wider community.

The online resource comprises 20 video testimonials – four by principals and teachers and 16 by past students of languages in Victorian schools talking about how learning a language at school has impacted positively on their personal and professional lives.

See: Language Video Testimonials

Ideas for using the resource

School leadership teams and members of staff:

  • To build awareness among community, staff and students of the need to develop language skills
  • To highlight the importance of providing quality languages education programs to all students

Language teachers:

  • To highlight the benefits of language learning including for example at the end of the year when students are deciding whether or not to continue with their language study

Students and their parents:

  • To raise awareness on the importance of intercultural and language competency
  • To promote the benefits of language learning including broadening career opportunities
  • To highlight the school's language program at information night and other events

The Language Video Testimonials were developed by the Department of Education and Training in partnership with the Modern Language Teachers' Association of Victoria.

Fact sheets

Four fact sheets have been designed for school communities to understand the benefits of languages learning and to support the quality of languages programs.

Research links

For articles based on research about learning languages, see:

Language posters

Four posters are available to promote the benefits of learning a language. They are designed to inform parents and young people of the advantages of learning another language.

Why Learn pamphlets

These pamphlets for parents promote the learning of Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish.

Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication

These research-based pamphlets provide information for school communities about the value of language learning.

For more information about the Research Unit (from the University of Melbourne), see: RUMACCC

Learning another language means more than just memorising lists of words. Languages all use different 'systems'. Children automatically compare and contrast the system of the new language they are learning with English. This gives them an insight to how English works, which accelerates their ability to read and write.

Learning another language strengthens children's memory for sequences and their ability to concentrate and build connections. Learning another language is associated with excellent, long-term academic results. Studies show that in the world's highest-performing school systems, all students in all year levels learn one or more languages.

Learning another language sparks children's curiosity for other cultures. It opens their minds to different ways of living and promotes harmony and respect in the schoolyard and beyond.

From 2015 children starting Prep are able to learn a language throughout their schooling. This commitment recognises that learning another language is crucial to preparing children for our increasingly globalised and multilingual jobs market.

Remember, learning any language – whether it's Italian or Indonesian, Punjabi or Portuguese – helps children to become better thinkers, better communicators and better global citizens. Starting early will put your child on-track to proficiency in another language, ready to seize the world of opportunities that this brings.

Benefits of learning a language

Quality languages programs will be more successful with community support based on a common understanding of the reason for the inclusion of languages as core curriculum, and the many benefits for students. Communicating the benefits is an important step in gaining parent and community support for your languages program.

Learning a language:

  • develops an understanding of how languages work which leads to improved literacy skills, including English literacy
  • helps students develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills
  • teaches students about other peoples, their ideas and ways of thinking
  • inspires interest in and respect for other cultures
  • enhances employment and career prospects
  • contributes to social cohesiveness through better communication and understanding
  • contributes to economic, diplomatic and strategic development

The following reports and papers provide evidence about the benefits of learning languages:

For other research in languages education, see: Research and data