INDEPENDENT NEWS

Second language learning Bill an opportunity for NZ

Published: Sat 8 Sep 2018 01:17 PM
Second language learning Bill an opportunity for NZ
A Bill that will ensure every child in years 1-8 has the opportunity to learn a second language was drawn from the Ballot yesterday, National MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye says.
“Speaking more than one language has enormous cognitive, cultural, social and economic benefits. New Zealand is a diverse country where 160 languages are spoken, and it’s important that what’s being taught in schools reflects that.
“My Bill would require the Minister of Education to set at least ten national priority languages for schools following public consultation, and places a requirement on the Crown to resource teaching these languages in primary and intermediate schools.
“It will be up to school boards to decide which of the priority languages will be taught at their school. Every school will be required to deliver at least one second language, but some may choose to offer more than one.
“The Bill makes it clear that Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Languages will, as the official languages of New Zealand, be on the final list of ten or more priority languages schools can choose from. I’d expect that other languages that would be consulted on would include Mandarin, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and potentially Hindi.
“There is widespread support for the Bill, with an Asia New Zealand Foundation survey showing 80 per cent of New Zealanders think that school children should learn a language other than English. It has also been great to see a number of language specialists and leaders call on MPs to send the Bill to select committee for wider public debate.
“Having the ability to speak a second language can be the difference in children being able to speak with their grandparents or young businesses leaders being able to better connect to markets like China and India. The Bill, with a comprehensive implementation plan, would also see a lot more young New Zealanders speaking Te Reo.
“I plan to meet with key political leaders from every Party in Parliament to discuss the Bill and ask for their support. I am optimistic that they will support the Bill because they understand the importance of second language learning.
“I do not underestimate the investment and careful planning required to deliver this policy. I am keen to work cross-party on an implementation plan, as this initiative will require the support of successive governments.
“My Bill presents an opportunity to invest in our country’s future. I am looking forward to a national conversation on how we can strengthen second language learning in schools and create smarter, more culturally aware students who are better equipped to succeed in New Zealand and overseas.”

Next in New Zealand politics

IHC: Fair pay for fair work welcomed
By: IHC
New independent Commission to tackle infrastructure issues
By: New Zealand Government
Government continues to enable motels to profit from crisis
By: Auckland Action Against Poverty
Gordon Campbell on the alleged China relations crisis
By: Gordon Campbell
Government to end tenure review
By: New Zealand Government
A new future for work skills training in NZ
By: New Zealand Government
Progress Stalled in Reducing Inequality
By: Salvation Army
Disability sector consulted on minimum wage
By: New Zealand Government
New infrastructure body welcomed by local government
By: Local Government NZ
Infrastructure NZ endorses new Infrastructure Commission
By: Infrastructure NZ
Commission should ensure better approach to infrastructure
By: Water New Zealand
Infrastructure Commission welcomed
By: BusinessNZ
Infrastructure Commission Independence Critical
By: EMA
Most new public housing places in a decade
By: New Zealand Government
Waiting list for public housing emboldens social support
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media