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Two languages are better than one

Posted: October 24, 2012 by Amy Johnston in Education
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Bayswater South Primary School is a school with a difference.  However it is not the students or the staff that are the point of difference.  It is the school’s curriculum, or more specifically their bilingual program which has raised the profile of the school beyond that of other schools in the outer eastern suburbs.

The school prides itself on its Bilingual Immersion Program, which involves the teaching of subjects such as Visual Arts, Science, Humanities and Design in both German and English.


Bayswater South Primary School celebrates its 40th birthday. Photo courtesy Knox Leader.

The Bilingual Immersion program prompted the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to publish a report on the program, praising the school’s 25 years of excellence in bilingual education.

The report found that the strategies implemented by the school, such as increased interaction between students, and the integration of LOTE with discipline based subjects, is highly beneficial to language learning.

The methods used by Bayswater South Primary School are seen to be noticeably more effective than traditional methods of LOTE teaching, with students participating in immersion programs developing language skills at a faster and more comprehensive rate according to the DEECD.

Leading teacher of LOTE at the school, Linton Roe, believes bilingual immersion programs are far more effective at encouraging children to continue with LOTE subjects into secondary school, due to the integration of language learning into content of subjects such as science and humanities.

In relation to the Government’s recently proposed educational reform, Mr Roe believes that more of a focus should be placed on funding language programs, if we are to keep up with the rest of the world

A majority of people in the world are using two or more languages every day.  A minority of people such as those in Australia and the Unites States seem to have the attitude that English is all you need…When in fact Australians are disadvantaging themselves by not knowing more languages.