25 August 2017
“…the only normal way to begin speaking in a new language is to begin speaking badly!!”
Greg and Angela Thomson
Bilingualism has been associated with a range of benefits for young learners, from higher test scores to more creative thought processes and greater mental flexibility. Being bilingual has even been claimed to mitigate the impacts of socioeconomic status on students. However, the numbers of students undertaking language study in Australia is low. So is learning an additional language just too much hard work?
Definitely not! Learning a new language does require hard work, patience and resilience. You can’t expect to be fluent overnight. I commonly see students giving up, saying they don’t know the words and they are not good at Indonesian. But they forget that they are not supposed to be good at it, yet. That’s why we are learning it.
Students are often too afraid of bungling the grammar or mispronouncing words in a way that would embarrass them. The key is that those mistakes help language learners by showing them the limits of language, and correcting errors before they become ingrained. The more learners use the language, the quicker they improve.
The Indonesian Speech Competition is one way students can practise their speaking skills. We would like to congratulate all the participants. It was a tough competition. The winners for 2017 are:
- Year 7 - Spencer Drinkall and Matthew McDonald
- Year 8 - Phoenix Mitchell
- Year 9 - Noah Willmott
- Year 10 - James Hastie
- Year 11 - Tobias Batson