A Shorten Labor Government will invest an extra $8 million in community language schools so more Australian children get the chance to learn other languages, including pre-schoolers.
Currently, community language schools teach mostly school age children, but the younger someone starts learning another language, the easier it is to pick up.
Grants of up to $25,000 per school will allow language programs to be expanded to preschool children. The grants could also go towards the costs of setting up a new school, better teacher training, or classroom resources.
Community language schools have been operating in Australia for more than 150 years. There are now about 700 community language schools across the country, teaching around 100,000 students in over 80 languages.
The more Australians we have learning languages other than English, the better for our economy and our society. Community language schools contribute to Australia’s standing as a successful multicultural nation. They help preserve and celebrate cultures and traditions as well as promote diversity, inclusion, and respect.
This policy has a cost of $8 million over the forward estimates.
We will pay for it by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.