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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3851..


Ayes 11

Noes 6

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Mr Coe

Mr Hanson

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Doszpot

Mr Seselja

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (11.30): I think this again highlights the prevarication and obfuscation that goes on whenever issues of real importance are put before this Assembly. Where it has been proven by every one of the speakers here about the reluctance of the members opposite to support education across both sectors, I find it very disappointing that Mr Barr was not able to go without trying to modify what was a motion that should have gone through in this place.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Education—bilingual

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.31): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) commends the ACT Government on its commitment to bilingual education in the ACT; and

(2) encourages the ACT Government to investigate the viability of establishing further bilingual schools in the ACT.

I am pleased to be able to move this motion in this place today. Three weeks ago, the minister for education issued a discussion paper titled Improving ACT public high schools and colleges: a discussion paper to generate ideas. I believe this to be an opportune moment to consider what we wish to achieve in foreign language education, a complex and often misconstrued area of public policy. This area of policy has often captured the attention and imagination of our federal colleagues.

One thing that concerns me about foreign language education policy is the lack of clarity about what we wish to achieve. Are we trying to increase the number of Australians fluent in a foreign language so that they are able to contribute to local business or organisations in an international context or are we simply hoping to use language education to expose our young people to other cultures, in the hope that some may develop useful skills that they can use in their careers, and to open the minds of all students to the world that lies beyond our borders?

Policies formulated to improve foreign language learning at a federal level in Australia are often focused on increasing the number of students actively participating


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