Public Forum - 22 Sept 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Languages for Australia's Future
The MLTAV, with the support of the Australian Federation of Modern Languages Teachers (AFMLTA), was very pleased to host this important Public Forum on 22 September 2007 in Melbourne.

We thank the guest speakers, our panel of Languages experts, teachers and students of Languages, teacher educators, parents, representatives of community groups and other MLTAs, as well as the media, for supporting this most important opportunity to be informed of policies with regard to Languages Education and Multiculturalism, in the lead up to the 2007 Federal election.

The Forum was held as part of MLTAV's ongoing Advocacy campaign for Languages. More details of the Forum and a major report, including the policies as outlined below, will be included in the November edition of Languages Victoria. To receive this publication, you must be a MLTAV member. If you would like to support the MLTAV's work, and you are not already a member, please considering joining!

The speakers representing each of the major political parties contesting the upcoming Federal election were:

* Australian Greens - Dr Richard Di Natale, Lead Senate Candidate, Australian Greens Victoria

* Australian Labor Party - Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Urban Development and Consumer Affairs (representing the Office of Mr Stephen Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Education and Training)

* The Liberal Party of Australia - Senator the Hon Kay Patterson (representing the Office of Ms Julie Bishop, Minister for Education Science and Training)

Each speaker answered the following four questions. To hear the answers, click on the link below - the order of answers is the same as presented at the Forum:

1. The MCEETYA National Statement and Plan for Languages Education in Australian Schools has been endorsed for 2005 to 2008. Will your Party support such a Statement and Plan beyond this period? What changes, if any, do you envisage to the present Statement and Plan beyond 2008?
 
GREENS

LABOR

LIBERAL

2. From 2005, 5% of SLP funds (about $1.25 million per annum) have been set aside for national strategic projects in line with the National Statement and Plan. How will your Party prioritize funding for national strategic projects related to Languages Education in the future, in particular with regard to supporting the teaching and learning of Indigenous and Community languages?

LABOR
LIBERAL
GREENS

3. What is your Party's policy on Languages being a compulsory subject area for all students in schools and at Tertiary level in Australia, as one possible strategy to address the problem of declining enrolments in most Languages programs in Australia?

LIBERAL
GREENS

LABOR

4. How does your Party's Languages Education Policy relate to your Policy on Multiculturalism?

GREENS
LABOR
LIBERAL

Each of the speakers then presented a summarizing statement:

LABOR
LIBERAL
GREENS

followed by clarifying questions from a panel of Languages experts:

* Mrs Lia Tedesco - President, AFMLTA & Principal, School of Languages, SA

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

* Mr Tassos Douvartzides - Chairman, Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Association (AFESA)

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

* Prof Michael Clyne - Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne & Emeritus Professor, Monash University

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS