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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 February 2008) . . Page.. 143 ..

Social and Cultural Benefits

Bilingual education offers a deep understanding of another culture, providing an opportunity for children to bridge the cultural and heritage between Italy and Australia.

Yarralumla Primary is very much a community-oriented school, with a strong and active parent body. We would be proud to establish relations with Canberra’s Italian-Australian community, which is one of Canberra’s largest ethnic communities …

We would embrace being able to provide our students with opportunities for travel, education, leisure and cultural sensitivity and exchange.

Early exposure of being immersed in another language carries with it a lifetime of linguistic benefits, such as being able to learn third and fourth languages …

We understand that bilingualism enhances a child’s ability to deal with mathematical concepts.

There are also proven benefits in the ability to focus and minimise outside distractions. This is of particular benefit to children with learning disorders.

Bilingual children possess stronger problem-solving skills.

A Bilingual Italian Immersion Program operating at Yarralumla Primary would be in keeping with the Towards 2020 Proposal whereby increased enrolments are essential to utilize resources. Such a unique program will attract students from across the Territory, enhancing our market position as we continue to grow our school.

Your support in this matter would be greatly appreciated by students and families in the Yarralumla community.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am very pleased that the government has agreed to the relocation of the program to Yarralumla. It is warmly welcomed by the both the Lyons and Yarralumla school communities. A meeting of staff from the department and the Yarralumla and Lyons primary school principals is planned for early this term to look at the scope of works required to relocate the program and to facilitate a transition program during this year in anticipation of the program’s full commencement at Yarralumla in 2009. This is a very good outcome for all concerned. It opens up the program to considerably more students than were engaging with it at Lyons and gives Yarralumla Primary School the opportunity to have a LOTE for the first time in a number of years—a great outcome.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.48), in reply: Mr Deputy Speaker, in closing the debate I would like to thank members for their contributions. I would reflect on those who would gainsay positive motions that do arise from the government benches that they might reflect on the oft-mentioned desire by all in this place that we work together in a more positive way. I would hope that they would not see every single initiative and every single motion that this government brings forward in a positive way as some kind of cynical election ploy or some other kind of cynical

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