English first for indigenous children

Michele: This may be a hot topic in the news in the coming days, and it will feed into our studies in the second part of this semester.

English first for indigenous kids – Mark Arbib
• From: AAP
• September 19, 2010 4:37PM
INDIGENOUS Australians must be taught English ahead of their traditional languages if they are to get jobs, Indigenous Employment Minister Mark Arbib says.
Senator Arbib said while he wanted to see traditional languages kept alive, the focus had to be kept on English.

“It is going to be impossible for us to solve indigenous employment unless English is taught as the first language,” he told Sky News today.

“When you talk to employers, the number one concern they have about employing indigenous people is lack of reading and writing skills.”

Senator Arbib said he would work with School Education Minister Peter Garrett and all state governments to ensure that literacy skills were being taught to indigenous children.

“Because they need it,” he said.


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