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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3168

Dr Cass asked the Minister forEducation, upon notice, on 2 1 April 1 980:

(1)   How many (a) State and (b) private (i) kindergartens, (ii) primary schools and (iii) secondary schools are there in each State and Territory.

(2)   In how many of each are the (a) Italian, (b) Greek, (c) Arabic, (d) Serbian, (e) Croatian, (f) Spanish, (g) Turkish and (h) Maltese languages taught.

(3)   In what proportion of (a) universities and (b) colleges of advanced education in each State and Territory are these languages taught

Mr Fife - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Information on the number and type of schools for each State and Territory as at 1978, the latest year for which such information is available, is shown in the table below. Information about kindergartens and other 'pre-primary ' institutions is not available on a national basis. While data are available for some States, they are not comparable because of differences in the scope, coverage, and definitions used in the separate collections.


(2)   Up-to-date information on languages taught in schools is not available on an Australia-wide basis. Some information may be available from individual States with regard to the number of government schools (particularly secondary) which teach languages. However, this information is not maintained by the Commonwealth nor by all the States.

My Department carried out a sample survey of languages taught in primary and secondary schools in 1975. The major findings were published in the 'Report of the Committee on the Teaching of Migrant Languages in Schools ' (tabled on 9

December 1976, Hansard, House of Representatives, page 3576). My Department is giving consideration to the possibility of carrying out a similar survey when resources permit.

(3)   The numbers of universities and colleges of advanced education by State and Territory are as follows:


Courses in the languages listed are taught as follows:



Most of the courses listed above provide for study in the language to at least bachelor degree level, i.e. as a major in a BA-or BEd

The table does not include teacher education institutions which offer a lesser component of language study in their multicultural education courses. The State College of Victoria, Melbourne for example in its Diploma of Teaching (Primary), includes one year's study in any of the following languages: Greek, Italian, Serbo-Croat, Turkish and Spanish. Full details in this respect can be found in 'Bulletin 1979: Information of courses in TEFL, TESL, Migrant and Multicultural Education and Ethnic Studies', published by the Commonwealth Department of Education, page 33.

A number of courses in the languages listed have been mounted in the implementation of Galbally Recommendation No. 14:

Professionals, including those studying and those currently in practices in areas with large migrant clientels should receive assistance in obtaining, or upgrading, language skills and understanding cultural differences '.

The majority of these courses are being provided in colleges of advanced education though some are in hospitals and other community centres. Some have aimed at limited communicative competence while others have concentrated on sensitisation to cultural differences. The language courses have been full-time or part-time and vary in duration from 3-36 weeks.

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