scientific edition of Bauman MSTU
SCIENCE & EDUCATION
Bauman Moscow State Technical University. El № FS 77 - 48211. ISSN 1994-0408
Indonesian Language Faces Being "Wiped From Universities in 10 Years"
# 05, May 2016
Despite Indonesia being one of Australia's closest neighbours, figures indicate Australian students are showing little interest in studying the language.
It was hoped the softening of a travel warning to the country in 2012 might change that, but one expert said Indonesian studies might be completely wiped out from Australian universities in a decade.
An Australian Government travel warning issued after the Bali bombings discouraged most Australian schools from sending their students to Indonesia.
Professor Tim Lindsey, an expert in Indonesian law at the University of Melbourne, and fluent speaker of the language, said it has been one contributor to the demise of Indonesian studies in Australian institutions.
"If children can't get an immersion opportunity to study a foreign language, that will limit their capacity and it's a reasonable decision, I think, for parents and children to make, that without immersion, their capacity to learn a foreign language will be weakened," he said.
"So, this fed into a really big falling off in schools, Indonesian language teaching, and that naturally flowed on into our universities."
Professor Lindsey said if the current rate of decline continued, Indonesian language would not be an option at Australian universities in a decade.
"So, we've seen the numbers of schools teaching Indonesian fall quite dramatically over the last 15 years, and that's followed through — with a slight delay of course — in many of our universities," he said.
"And a significant number of universities around Australia have now dropped the teaching of Indonesian language, and we're reaching a position where Germany may have more universities teaching Indonesian than Australia.
"Australia is the only Western tradition country in Asia, yet it rates the lowest among all OECD countries by a long shot for second language skills.
"And if current trends continue it may end up teaching very little Asian languages except to kids of an Asian background or context."
Source: The ABC