September 11, 2018
Reo on long second language list
National MP Nikki Kay has had her second language learning bill drawn out of the ballot in time for Maori language week.
If passed into law it would ensure every child in years 1-8 has the opportunity to learn a second language.
The Auckland Central MP says speaking more than one language has enormous cognitive, cultural, social and economic benefits.
Her bill would require the Minister of Education to set at least ten national priority languages for schools, and for the crown to resource teaching these languages in primary and intermediate schools.
It would be up to school boards to decide which of the priority languages will be taught at their school, but as official languages te reo Maori and New Zealand Sign Languages will be on the list.
Ms Kaye expects other languages that would be consulted on would include Mandarin, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and potentially Hindi.
She now needs to convince other parties to at least send the bill to select committee for wider public debate.
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