NSW Multicultural Minister calls on adults to learn a second language ‘as a priority’

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, has called on adults to learn a second language “as a priority” if Sydney is to become a truly “global city.”

Mr Coure said NSW had failed to capitalise on its ­diverse culture and was critical of the ‘hotchpotch’ approach to language in state schools.

“On street corners in Hurstville, Lakemba, Cabramatta, Kogarah and Parramatta, you can hear Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, and Spanish. Yet, we haven’t really capitalised on the presence of these languages and tried to learn them,” Mr Coure told The Daily Telegraph.

“I want all of us to start treating language learning as a priority. This means treating it the same as maths, science, and technologies.”

The President of the Teachers Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos, agreed with Minister Coure and said although languages were “a very important part of the curriculum,” they had suffered a decline in recent years.

Mr Coure called on NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell to fix the issue in her ongoing school curriculum reform. Minister Mitchell encouraged community members to have their say on the draft language syllabus.


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