Sunday, 2 November 2008

Opening doors through language learning

Languages open the door is a new website (funded by the Australian Government) which aims to:

"highlight the intercultural, intellectual and vocational benefits of learning languages to a range of key stakeholders;

reinforce existing positive attitudes to languages education and assist in culture change in schools and school communities where there are negative attitudes; and

provide education authorities, schools and teachers with effective promotion and communication materials and products which can be used for a variety of purposes."
This is a positive step in the promotion of language learning in Australia. Too many students, and indeed parents, see languages as irrelevant and as somehow getting in the way of learning our own native language. Nothing could be further from the truth and hopefully this website can not only provide language teachers with some extra resources but also help young people see the value that languages add to their lives.

There are some useful parts of the website in terms of promotional materials. In particular, the Languages Champions section of the website has some bios of Australians who have been able to open up their career paths through being able to communicate in other languages.

Check it out and remember - Languages Matter!

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