Australia’s Education Futures and the East-Side Neighbours

Florence Monique Boulard


In 2014, the importance of providing all young Australians with opportunities to be actively engaged with and literate in the cultures and languages of Asia continues to be evident in curriculum documents and the media. Whilst there is wide spread agreement that the study of Asian perspectives is important for the successful future of many young Australians, one could question why none of the countries located to the east of Australia have been mentioned in either the Melbourne Declaration (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008) or the Australian curriculum, as these countries are also some of Australia’s closest neighbours. If Australia, as a nation, is truly aiming to develop its young people to be global citizens through the teaching and learning of different cultures and beliefs, then it does not seem unreasonable to say that young Australians also need to develop an appreciation for their East-side neighbours. However, as it stands the curriculum is argued as a crowded place; adding might result in the loss of something else. This article demonstrates how the French language classroom can be used as a means to contribute to developing the international-mindedness of young Australians in regards to their East-side neighbours without adding to the crowding of the current Australian Curriculum.

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