Second language learning for years 7-10 
Monday, 6 June 2003

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Press Release: New Zealand Government. 

Second language learning for years 7-10

One of the recommendations of the curriculum stocktake report, released today, is that schools work towards offering instruction in a second language for students in Years 7-10.

Associate Minister of Education, Marian Hobbs says this recognises that while many schools in New Zealand are already offering their students opportunities to learn another language there is an obligation to extend this for all students.

"Learning a second language enables a younger student to become more aware of how their first language functions," Marian Hobbs said. "Language learning has many benefits. "It also recognises the diversity of our population, and our need to be multilingual due to increasing movement of people

"We need a population which celebrates its own diversity and which can move flexibly in all kinds of social, business, economic and political situations to communicate effectively with people of other cultures."

The three-year stocktake examined the quality, manageability and appropriateness of the curriculum and canvassed a wide range of sources including two international critiques, international and national assessment data, 4000 teachers, meetings with a range of groups, a literature review and submissions.

Marian Hobbs said there would be no curriculum changes in schools until well after 2006. Teachers will be involved before a draft revised curriculum is published in 2005. And obviously before the introduction of second language learning, teachers will have to be trained, she said.

More information on the New Zealand Curriculum Project is available online:

Curriculum Stocktake Report:: www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/csr

National Schools Sampling Study - 1 (University of Waikato): www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/NSSS

National Schools Sampling Study - 2: www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/NSSS2

New Zealand Curriculum Project www.tki.org.nz/e/nzcurriculum

National Foundation for Educational Research (UK) report: www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/NFER

Australian Council for Educational Research report: www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/ACER