The low levels of language study in Australia are often attributed to the lack of motivation of students and deficiencies in the implementation of language programs. This chapter suggests that such problems are linked to deeper issues, and that the most powerful determinant of language learning rates is the nature of the general educational structures in which language education is embedded. Drawing on data from the most widely taught language in Australia, Japanese, it discusses structural determinants of program delivery and student choices, from primary to tertiary levels, and their impact. These diverse structures all reflect the monolingual educational ecology in Australia. The chapter argues that until language learning is taken seriously enough to prompt fundamental structural reforms, other efforts will only result in marginal improvements. More generally, it confirms the importance of looking beyond the specifics of languages education to the broader social and institutional ecologies in which they sit.
|Title of host publication||Dynamic Ecologies: A Relational Perspective on Languages Education in the Asia-Pacific Region|
|Editors||Neil Murray, Angela Scarino|
|Place of Publication||Netherlands|
|Pages||183 - 198|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|