December 08, 2014
Rethink needed on language teaching
A Massey University researcher says the New Zealand education system needs to be overhauled to encourage more language learning.
Adele Scott has just earned a doctorate in applied linguistics for her work on exploring the role of language teachers and the place of languages in New Zealand schools today.
She says because languages aren’t compulsory, and what languages are taught, often comes down to the whim of the principal or board of trustees.
Dr Scott says argument for learning a language is often framed in terms of the potential business and international trade opportunities, but it has broader benefits including intercultural communication skills and understanding, as well as enhanced cognitive and personal development.
She says learning languages creates empathy for other people and other ways of doing things.
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