I often get asked, why study a language? After all, as the conversation sometimes continues, everyone speaks English anyway.

Scotch Oakburn College has a long, successful, and rich history in the study of additional languages other than English. The important place that languages other than English have within the College’s curriculum continues to this day with three distinct languages being offered: Chinese, French and Japanese. So why has Scotch Oakburn College continued to recognise the fact that the study of additional languages other than English is integral to the learning of its students?

The same question is regularly discussed by teachers from the College’s LOTE (Languages Other Than English) department, and with their students in their classrooms. By encouraging students to understand why they are studying something is one of the first steps for learning to occur. The points below are from a number of such discussions.

Why Learn A Language?
• It fosters, and gives an appreciation of, intercultural understanding;
• It promotes and develops communication skills and ability in both English and the additional language(s);
• It improves performance in other academic areas including Mathematics and English;
• It creates opportunities for career advancement, gives a competitive edge and makes an employee more valuable;
• It helps to develop strategies to learn effectively and understand what technique suits the learner;
• It enhances cognitive abilities including memory, concentration, ability to multitask, listening skills, and gives the learner a ‘bigger brain’;
• It improves analytical skills such as problem-solving, critical and creative thinking and communication;
• It gives the opportunity to live, work and travel around the world.

It is a privilege to be part of a school that is known throughout Tasmania, and Australia, for the opportunities in languages other than English that are provided to its students.

Leigh Cordell
Head of LOTE