Before the South Australian government in 1917 closed 47 schools in the Barossa Valley, the common practice in those schools was to teach lessons in German in the morning and English in the afternoon. The decision to close the schools was not on educational grounds, but on political. The slaughter of young men in World War I was at its most barbaric, and anti-German feeling in Australia was at its height. German place names were being replaced, and some people of German descent were even Anglicizing their names. The schools and the German language were major casualties.
On Monday, 9 August at the Langmeil Centre, 7 Maria Street, Tanunda, beginning at 6pm, a public meeting will be held to discuss the reintroduction of bilingual schooling in the Barossa region. Politicians, school administrators and teachers, local councillors and business and cultural leaders will be in attendance.
Bilingual teaching is a feature of European education today. A German student, for example, may receive a History lesson that is conducted in English, thereby acquiring knowledge of History while developing fluency in English. In addition, it has been shown that learning more than one language enhances a child’s cognitive development.
All those who are interested and would like to express an opinion are invited to attend.
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