Bilingual School

Re-Introduction of Bilingual Schooling in the Barossa Region and Beyond


Barossa German Language Association Inc.

German Roundtable Presentation, 20th November, 2021

Re-introduction of Bilingual Schooling in the Barossa Region and Beyond

German is a community language in South Australia and an international language significant for Australia’s innovation in the arts, science and technology. 

The Barossa German Language Association Inc. (BGLA) sponsors teaching of German in the Barossa. It has established German language programs for pre-schoolers, school age children, seniors and adults. The Association has a bilingual newsletter Das Blatt , holds community events, and organizes a monthly program with invited speakers and Kaffee und Kuchen in Langmeil Church Hall, Tanunda. The BGLA has hosted the one-day seminar on German Heritage in South Australia organized by the German Heritage Research Group (University of Adelaide) and Lutheran Archives. 

The re-introduction of German bilingual programs in the Barossa and South Australia would redress the South Australian Government Education Amendment Act of 1916 which compulsorily closed 47 listed bilingual community schools. 

The State Member of Parliament for Light, Tony Piccolo, has advocated for German bilingual programs in the House of Assembly of the SA Parliament:

 “I think the time has now come to consider some bilingual schools, acknowledging the importance of English but also accessing the culture of the Barossa through an understanding of the German language.” Government Gazette Hansard, Thursday 6 May 2021

The Minister of Education, John Gardner, received the delegation from the Barossa German Language Association Inc. and the South Australian German Language Teachers’ Association on 19th October, to discuss strategy for implementation of the Bilingual Barossa Language Plan. . 

The Minister expressed strong support for bilingual education as evidenced in current French and Chinese bilingual programs. 

The selection of German for bilingual teaching as advocated by the Barossa German Language Association and outlined in its Language Plan is considered to be a practical choice for cultural and community reasons.

The Minister undertook to discuss with Officers in the Department support for a feasibility study to be undertaken in 2022.

Further information on the Barossa German Language Association Inc. see the BGLA website WWW.BAROSSAGERMAN.COM.AU

For further information on bilingual teaching, public advocacy and the Bilingual Barossa Language Plan contact Peter Mickan, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Adelaide.