The Minister for Education, the Hon Julia Gillard, today released the Indigenous Language Programs in Australian Schools — A Way Forward report.

The report was prepared by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), funded by the Australian Government’s School Languages Program.

The report provides a snapshot of the current situation of Indigenous language education in schools across Australia.

Over 16 000 Indigenous students and 13 000 non-Indigenous students located in 260 Australian schools are involved in an Indigenous language program.

The report reveals that over 80 different Indigenous languages are taught in schools throughout Australia.

The report found that learning an Indigenous language can enhance a range of social and academic outcomes for all students.

The Australian Government is committed to supporting languages education in Australian schools. The School Languages Program provides funding of $112 million from 2005 to 2008 to support the learning of all languages, including Indigenous languages.

The Australian Government has also committed $540 million to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes and close the gap in educational attainment for Indigenous Australians.

The Government firmly believes that all Australian students need to be proficient in English to be able to full participate in the world of work and further study.

The new report Indigenous Language Programs in Australian Schools — A Way Forward is available for download.

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