Zenon Education was represented at the annual National Community Languages Schools Conference 2017 in Australia which took part on Saturday 7th October 2017, in Perth. The venue, a beautiful building of the Catholic Archdiocese of Western Australia housed the conference which was attended by a large number of contingents of many language school representatives around the country. More than 200 delegates took part and were involved in speeches covering the future of language learning in Australia, as well as workshops.
From Zenon the Principal Mrs Andrea Garivaldis and Vice-Principal Mr Iakovos Garivaldis were present and acquired valuable information in language teaching initiatives and practices by other community language schools.
The speech which stood out was the by Prof Joseph Lo Bianco who analysed the importance of language learning for Australian students, noting that policies in Australia lagged behind the European models, especially those in the Scandinavian countries where students learn three languages from the Primary school concurrently and become fluent in all. He also noted that it is not hard at all for students to learn a second or third language for that matter and the benefits are positively affecting their memory, decision making, focus, awareness as well as preventing dementia in the later part of their lives.
Another important presenter was that of Sue Hanson, a Linguist of Aboriginal background, who has been researching Aboriginal languages in Australia for decades, saying that there are more than 85 Aboriginal languages in the country.
Zenon representatives also had the opportunity to meet with Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM, Executive Director, Community Languages Australia and Fahry Abubaker official at Community Languages Australia both of whom have been very helpful to Zenon’s needs in the past. In the photos, Mrs A. Garivaldis at the venue, meeting both Mr S. Romaniw OAM and F. Abubaker.
Present at the Conference and one of the Keynote speakers was the Minister for Education and Training in Western Australia, The Hon. Sue Ellery MLC who provided information about the importance the WA Government is placing on language education.