NSW Labor calls for Hebrew as a second language

February 16, 2016 by J-Wire
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A State Labor Government will expand the teaching of modern Hebrew in eastern and northern Sydney suburbs with significant Jewish populations – as part of its second language in primary schools’ plan.

Walt Secord

Walt Secord

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair and NSW Deputy Opposition leader in the Legislative Council Walt Secord was responding to a major announcement at the NSW Labor Party annual conference by  NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.

Mr Secord said  if there is a significant Jewish population, then primary school students will get extra support in Ivrit.

Learning a second language is compulsory in a number of Asian countries including Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand. Almost every country in Europe requires primary school age children to learn at least one language – usually English.

The NSW Parliamentary Library reported that there were 3075  people who were fluent and spoke Hebrew at home in NSW – as of 2011.  Furthermore, classical Hebrew for the HSC is taught at least five schools in NSW and the modern Hebrew exam, consisted of three sections – listening, reading and responding, and a creative writing response.

Under the plan, every primary school student in NSW will study a second language as part of the NSW primary school curriculum. The languages will be determined in conjunction with the local community and independent, Catholic and government schools.

For example in areas where there are significant Indian sub-continent populations, the students will have an option of Hindi,  Sindhi, Hindi, Punjabi, Nepali or Sinhalese. Therefore, if the local community wishes to have extra Ivrit teachers in their schools, then this will occur.

Learning a second language is currently not compulsory in NSW primary schools – but a Labor Government will dramatically expand the teaching of second languages including Mandarin, Cantonese and Ivrit.

Labor’s pledge would provide the resources and tools for every NSW primary school to facilitate language teaching.

In NSW fewer than 40 per cent of primary schools have a language program – and the majority that do are in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Learning a second language will act as a stepping stone for primary school students to continue their language education and progress with the best foot forward into a globalised and changing job market.

Deputy Opposition Leader in the NSW Legislative Council and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord said: “Primary school children in NSW deserve every opportunity to get a head start in life to compete in an ever-changing world.

This policy is about bringing NSW schools up to speed with other states and the rest of the world.”

 It’s the role of the NSW Government to create a multilingual work force that can compete in our rapidly changing market place.

The benefits of learning a second language early in life are well-known.

This policy will ensure primary school kids across the state have access to the language classes that can help strengthen their skills – and help them get the best start in life.”


One Response to “NSW Labor calls for Hebrew as a second language”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    That suxs, Y only in east & north Sydney. Make it available for all area, including country areas.

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