ERIC Number: EJ1137481
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
A Tale of Two Cities: What the Dickens Happened to Languages in NSW?
Cruickshank, Ken; Wright, Jan
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v39 n1 p72-94 2016
The current discourse in Australian languages education is that if children study languages in the early years, then languages uptake in secondary schools will increase. There has been little coherent data collection and analysis, however, to support or challenge this discourse. This article draws on findings from an ARC Linkage study in NSW involving cross-sectoral languages study data (2007 to 2014), school case studies and teacher surveys to explore links between primary school provision, uptake and continuation to Year 12. The study focused on 348 schools in two demographic areas--inner city Sydney and Wollongong. The three key findings were that uptake in upper secondary school is primarily a factor of scaling for tertiary entry; that socioeconomic status (SES) is a key factor in K-10 languages provision and uptake and that community languages have been marginalised from day schools. The paper argues that language programs and policy need to be based not on common beliefs but on consistent data collection. It also argues that two key issues need to be addressed to reverse the decline in language study: a review of the tertiary scaling of languages and government strategies which work from issues of equity of access for students in lower-SES schools.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Second Language Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Urban Schools, Predictor Variables, Language Planning, Socioeconomic Status, Data Collection, Evidence Based Practice, Scaling, Second Language Instruction, Equal Education, Access to Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia