Lalor North Primary School Leads Victoria in Bilingual education.
Our Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program began in 1977 and is the oldest continually operating Bilingual Program in Victoria. Our Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program began in 1984 and has now reached its highest ever enrolment. Both of our bilingual programs enjoy tremendous support from local communities as well as being internationally recognised by the governments of Greece and Macedonia respectively. Languages are a strength for every student at Lalor North Primary School. Students learn through language and learn about language, participating in the Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program or Macedonian Bilingual Curriculum Program.
Australia has a history of bilingual education, initially arising from community interest where pockets of newly arrived immigrants wished to maintain their mother tongue. This was in evidence over one hundred years ago when German English schools flourished in South Australia thanks to the recent arrivals of German immigrants. Even at this time, these early bilingual schools were sought after by the local non-German communities who valued the rich intercultural benefits provided. Following the Second World War, bilingual education declined in Victoria until the early seventies when Lalor North Primary School began a Greek- English stream and Bayswater South Primary School began their German English program.
The Bilingual Schools’ Network, established in 1997, brought together twelve established Victorian primary schools delivering bilingual education, each with their own flavour, program delivery and structure dependent on their history and context. The network has become a strong forum advocating for bilingual education and designing professional learning to share best practice and improve our “Australian approach” to delivering quality bilingual education. You may find the link to the Bilingual Schools Victoria on the following link. https://www.bilingualschools.vic.edu.au/
Research on Bilingual Education
There is significant research that supports the benefits of bilingual education. The below links will support you to learn more about the advantages of bilingual teaching and learning.
- Article: "The benefits of bilingual education in Australian schools" by Marianne Turner, Senior Lecturer at Monash University
- Fact Sheet: “Common Misconceptions about Learning Bilingually” by Dr. Ruth Fielding, Senior Lecturer at Monash University, in collaboration with Modern Language Teachers Association of Victoria
- Research: "Dual-Language Immersion Programs Raise Student Achievement in English" by Jennifer Steele et al.
- Position Paper: "Bilingual Advantage" by EduCluster Finland
- Innovation Showcase: “Spotlight 2020 – Bilingual Education” by HundrED
- TED Talk: “The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain” by Mia Nacamulli
- Book: King, K., & Mackey, A. (2007). Bilingual Edge. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
- Coursera Course: "The Bilingual Brain" by Arturo E. Hernandez, University of Houston
- Research: "Studies into bilingual cognition could help improve language learning" by Sandrine Ceurstemont, European Commission
Raising Bilingual Children
- Seminar and Website Resources: "Raising children in more than one language" by the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) at the University of Melbourne
- Article: "Multilingual and bilingual children: benefits and challenges" by Raising Children Network (Australia)
- Resources: "Speak to your child in the language you know best" by the Department of Education and Training Victoria
- Picture Book: “Diary of a Bilingual Brain” by Averil Grieve – Deutsche Schule Melbourne
- Book: Meisel, J. M. (2019). Bilingual Parents - A Guide for Parents. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.