Community Languages Victoria funded a national research project to hear Parent Voices. The research and outcomes were geared to the national scene.
The research was conducted by Dr Maria Gindidis and Dr. Lilly Yazdanpanah. The following statement was taken from their project report: “Parents are a key stakeholder who can provide a comprehensive view into the experience of community language learning of their children in community language schools. They are uniquely positioned to observe, analyse and link together all aspects of their community and provision of this for children’s community language education.
This Report a first of its kind in Australia and commissioned by Community Languages Australia attempts to probe deeper into the current issues for community languages schooling and highlight emerging issues that can shape public commentary and debate.
The results conveyed through this Report is that most parents are supportive of the continued work of community language schools; however, some are constrained in their choices, often because of access. And some are concerned that the lack, or poor choice of materials, teacher and principal quality are impacting on children’s motivation o continue to learn their community language.”
Key recommendations are:
- Ongoing education and professional development of CL teachers is of vital importance for the sustainability of CL schools throughout Australia as they are in direct contact with children, influencing their motivation to dis/continue CLS. As the data demonstrates, despite parents having high aspirations for their children to complete CLS, they will not force them once they see their children lack the necessary motivation to formally study their CL
- Similar to the teachers, CLS principals need to receive ongoing education and professional development. They are instructional leaders who play a fundamental role in supporting teachers, administrative staff, and students to create optimal and safe educational environments in which their school can thrive. Principals need the necessary training and education in line with their role.
- It is important for schools to revisit the relevance of their teaching materials and activities at all levels. However, we believe that this becomes feasible once the teachers and principals have an in-depth understanding of the educational needs of their CL students.
- Since children (and parents), in addition to being emotionally linked to their CL, have an instrumental purpose in learning their CL, we see it important that all CL be recognised in the mainstream schools and the curriculum
- It is important to add that in education, student voice refers to the values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of individual students. It is the recommendation of the researchers for this report that a student national survey canvassing the perspective of community languages student experiences and instructional approaches would extend and enhance the findings of this current report. Such a further study would inform policy and community language school providers on the current student experiences, views, choices, interests, passions, and ambitions of learning of their community language.
Here the link to the full report: