Promote learning a language
This page includes materials to promote learning a language to students and the community.
Language video testimonials
Language video testimonials talk about how learning a language at school has impacted positively on their personal and professional lives. Refer to: Language Video
Ideas for using the resource
School leadership teams and members of staff to:
- build awareness among community, staff and students of the need to develop language skills
- highlight the importance of providing quality languages education programs to all students.
Language teachers to:
- highlight the benefits of language learning including for example at the end of the year when students are deciding whether or not to continue with their language study.
Students and their parents to:
- raise awareness on the importance of intercultural and language competency
- promote the benefits of language learning including broadening career opportunities
- highlight the school's language program at information night and other events.
The Language Video Testimonials were developed by the Department of Education and Training in partnership with the Modern Language Teachers' Association of Victoria.
The benefits of language learning
The following information has been designed for school communities to understand the benefits of language learning and to support the quality of language programs:
- How languages can boost your child's : a fact sheet for schools outlining the benefits in brain development that learning additional languages brings for children in kindergarten and early primary school.
- Learn a language, live your : a fact sheet for school outlining the career, cultural and travel benefits for students studying languages in secondary school.
- Teaching languages: quality : a fact sheet with advice for schools and teachers on continuing to build the quality and effectiveness of languages programs.
- Speak to your child in the language you know : a webpage for parents outlining the reasons it is important that young people maintain their home language.
For articles based on research about learning languages, refer to:
- Toddler Brain Scan Gives Language
BBC News Health — 9 October 2013. The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of 2 and 4, brain scans suggest.
- Bilingual Speakers Develop Mental
Psych Central — 11 September 2013. Researchers are learning that the benefits of being bilingual extend well beyond enhanced communication capabilities.
- Your Mind on Language: How Bilingualism Boosts Your
Huffington Post — 11 September 2013. Language shapes the way we think. At a more fundamental level, language might physically alter your mind.
- Learning New Language Has Significant Impact on Brain
Science World Report — 31 August 2013. The age at which children learn a new language can have a significant impact on the adult brain structure.
- How the Brain Picks up a Second
Science World Report — 29 August 2013. Learning a language can be an excellent way to open a child up to another world, especially at a young age when introducing new information can be critical to forming syllabus and language structure.
- Why languages matter to me: Eddie Izzard, Alastair Campbell and
The Guardian — 28 August 2013. A group of high-profile linguists reveal the impact languages have had on their lives and what sparked their passion for learning languages.
- Why It Makes More Sense Than You Know to Learn a Second
Huffington Post — 13 June 2013. Language learning improves our brain's ability to focus, reshapes the way we think and gives us a new way to see the world.
- Benefits of being bilingual: two languages may delay Alzheimer's
Huffington Post Canada — 4 February 2012. Being bilingual helps you earn more income, have a more flexible mindset and may delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
Salzburg Global is an independent not-for-profit organisation founded in 1947 to challenge present and future leaders and innovators to solve problem of global concern.
In December 2017, 40 languages education leaders, policy makers, researchers and practitioners from 30 countries were invited to participate in a seminar to explore the transformation of languages policy to meet 21st century needs in an increasingly globalised world, and to draft the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World.
The Department, given its strong and progressive languages education policies that support the teaching of some 67 languages, played a significant role in the drafting of the Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual .
Language learning pamphlets
These research-based pamphlets provide information for school communities about the value of language learning.
- Languages Programs and EAL
- More Languages, More
- Diversity in Language
- Multilingualism and Second Language
For information about research in Australian and international contexts in fields such as the maintenance and development of bi- and multilingualism and bilingual education, visit the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication .
Benefits of learning a language
Quality languages programs will be more successful with community support based on a common understanding of the reason for the inclusion of languages as core curriculum, and the many benefits for students. Communicating the benefits is an important step in gaining parent and community support for your languages program.
Learning a language:
- develops an understanding of how languages work which leads to improved literacy skills, including English literacy
- helps students develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills
- teaches students about other peoples, their ideas and ways of thinking
- inspires interest in and respect for other cultures
- enhances employment and career prospects
- contributes to social cohesiveness through better communication and understanding
- contributes to economic, diplomatic and strategic development
For research in languages education, refer to Languages data and research.
Reviewed 07 July 2021