26 Dec 2012

Compulsory second language eyed for local pupils

4:41 pm on 26 December 2012

Language teaching groups are hoping New Zealand will follow the lead of Australia and Britain and make learning a second language compulsory for school-age children.

The Primary Principals Federation supports the move, saying it makes sense to introduce a second language at primary-school level.

An Auckland University professor of education, Stephen May, says the British and Australian moves are significant, because countries where English is dominant often lack the will to enforce second-language policies.

Professor May says the evidence shows there are measurable benefits to be gained, as multi-lingual speakers are better fitted to cope in an increasingly globalised world.