Australia has a proud reputation in many areas of education, research and training.
Languages Other Than English (LOTE), is no longer one of them and urgent action is
required if Australia is to avoid the serious educational, national security and economic consequences of becoming monolingual. Decades of policy neglect and inaction mean Australian school students now spend less time learning a second language than students in all other OECD countries. The percentage of Year 12 students graduating with a second language has fallen dramatically from 40 per cent in the 1960s to 13 per cent today.
“For our nation to continue to prosper we must enhance our links with the world - we do that by improving our cultural
understanding, our language skills.”
Julie Bishop, Federal Minister for Education Science and Training, October 2006