New LIVE LOVE LANGUAGES Newsletter Launching Soon!


We LOVE teaching languages to kids and adults of all ages.  Are you looking for ideas and resources to be able to teach and promote language and culture?


Our team of inspiring teachers and managers are passionate about the opportunities that languages present to young Australians and New Zealanders!  And we want to share this with the world!

We also love networking with schools and teachers across Australasia to share ideas, teaching tips and the benefits of early language learning.

We are going to be launching our NEW LOOK Teaching Languages Newsletter, full of useful tips, articles and ideas to promote and spread the love of languages.

If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, CLICK HERE!  We also welcome contributions from keen language enthusiasts, teachers and bloggers!  So, don’t be shy!

The Role of Language Learning in Culture

The ever increasing role that Asia is playing in the futures of both Australia and New Zealand, and in particular the economic and social importance of China as a regional neighbour and trading partner for both countries, is not “new” news.

And particularly, as it pertains to second language learning, much has been written on the potential benefits to this relationship with the development of Chinese language education in Australian and New Zealand schools. The predominant view is that a good and mutually beneficial relationship will require a pool of Australians and/or New Zealanders who have a good understanding of the country and its culture and who’ve learnt to speak the Mandarin Chinese language well.

However, a recent report on ABC news brings a new perspective to this discussion from the Australian point of view, with experts saying that not only will the inclusion of Asian languages in the national curriculum go a long way to enhancing this relationship; it could also help curb racial discrimination.

And with a number of recent racial abuse incidents recently reported in both Melbourne and Sydney it would appear that the new language learning reforms proposed as part of the “Australia in the Asian Century” White Paper, released last October, are increasingly urgent.

What are the motivators for learning another language …

 … and what is the difference between an integrative and an influential motivator?

The saying that language is “best learned between the sheets” is a perfect example of an integrative motivating factor.

Integrative motivation is when an individual learns a foreign language, say for instance Spanish, with the aim of integrating into Spanish society. The language is being used as a tool for communicating and building relationships within the culture of the Spanish language.

Read more: What are the motivators for learning another language…

Are there any negatives to being bilingual?

Individuals who are bilingual are actually juggling multiple identities, and from the perspective of identity, this might be considered negative by some.  For instance, you may see a difference in an individual’s response to a personality test or other psychological measure based on the language the tests are in. But on the other hand, it does also give a peek into how a language can affect your worldview – which tends to come from the values endorsed by the culture of that language.

Read more: Are there any negatives to being bilingual?

$15.2 million package to promote Asian languages in Australian schools

Let’s face it…a language like Mandarin Chinese is not the easiest for a monolingual Australian child to master.  However, it is very important if future generations of Australians are to compete on a global platform


If you have experience of teaching Mandarin Chinese to Australian kids, we would love your viewpoint.  What are the challenges and what support do you need?  Is the government doing enough?

“We’ll need some new thinking and new ways of teaching if we want to reach our goal of increasing the study of Asian languages in Australian schools,” says Australian School Education Minister Peter Garrett in his recent press release on children learning Asian languages in school.

What do the language teachers think?

Music is key in learning languages

Using regular and repetitive methods to expose children to a language is a great way to teach them the language and music is a great way to do that! A child’s ear naturally atunes to the melody and words without realising it.

“The neurological links between language and music are vast but the basic thing to remember is that music activates more parts of the brain than language does, on both the right and left sides of the brain. So if you remember something to a tune, you are more likely to recall the information than if you just read it or heard it spoken.

Read more: Music is key in learning languages

Why learn another language?

A study carried out not too long ago by the European Commission, described the only two native English speaking member states, namely the UK and Ireland, as “having moderate language skills” in comparison with other EU countries. About two thirds of the people in the UK and Ireland speak only English whereas the majority of the populations of the other EU member states spoke more than one language. And it’s a pattern which is repeated in most other countries where English is the mother tongue. In Australia, the rates are even lower.

The high rates of bilingualism in Europe are in large part thanks to the dominance of the English language and are not driven by a general desire on the part of Europeans to learn languages but rather by a specific need to learn English. It is by far the most commonly learned language in continental Europe.

Read more: Why learn another language?

What does it take to be a great language teacher?

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – (Benjamin Franklin)

The teacher is one of the single most important components of the language leanrning experience and their teaching style can make the difference between a successful learning outcome for the language student and one in which the student loses confidence in their ability to learn a second language.

Not only will the way a language is taught ultimately determine whether the student will indeed learn the language, it will also influence the way their student’s view language learning in the future. A boring, or uninterested teacher can not only compromise their students’ success with their language learning, they can also instil in their students the belief that they are bad language learners.

So, what is the recipe? In no particular order, and by no means comprehensive, the following list are some key ingredients for being an exceptional language teacher:

Do the languages we speak influence the way we perceive the world?

Do people who speak different languages, whether it’s English, Spanish, Mandarin or any one of the 7000 odd languages in existence, end up remembering and understanding their respective life experiences differently simply by virtue of their mother tongue? An article in the Wall Street Journal explains how recent research suggests that the answer may be yes.

The idea that language might shape thought is not a new one as evinced by  quotes implying just that such as this one by the Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein :

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.” 

However, the hypothesis has generally been believed to be untestable at best and slightly “off the wall” or relegated to the loony fringes of disrepute at worst.

Now the recent cognitive science research indicates that not only does our language indeed profoundly influence how we see the world, it can also affect our understanding of even such fundamental concepts as space, time and causality.

Read more: Do the languages we speak influence the way we perceive the world?

Are Kiwi students “Asia Ready”?

Our first two days exhibiting at the 2013 NZPF Conference in Hamilton have underscored the fact that there is a growing need for Mandarin as an in-school language option for all New Zealand students with a genuine interest from school principals across the board.  And with a talk on Friday by John McKinnon, executive director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, on why ‘Asia Aware’ students are important, delegates and speakers alike clearly acknowledge the key role of Asia in New Zealand’s future.

A recent survey commissioned by the foundation to determine the ‘Asia Readiness’ of New Zealand secondary students found that only 9% of NZ secondary students were what they considered to be “Asia ready”.  The “Asia Readiness Framework”, the key facets of which are knowledge of Asia, cultural intelligence and language, recognises that being “Asia Ready” is as much about an interest and willingness to engage with Asia as it is about the ability to communicate in an Asian language.

The report found that although most New Zealand secondary school students understand the importance of Asia, they feel under-prepared to engage confidently with the region – a finding which clearly demonstrates that “there is a need to increase Asia-related content across the entire school curriculum.”

With the conference theme for 2013 being “Power to Innovate”, we’re looking forward to hearing about some innovative ideas and new solutions on how best to develop “global citizens” who understand the nuances of Asian culture and business practices and who can speak Mandarin and/or other Asian languages.

See the full survey results here

Read more here and here