Language lovers are buzzing about the new government white paper: Australia in the Asian Century.

It’s got language learning at its heart. So why are linguists cautious about its content? How hard can it be to learn a language, anyway?

Linguist Daniel Midgley checks it out on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Here it is, folks: The White Paper. Or the fact sheets therefrom.
http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/fact-sheets

Building Asia literacy through schools
http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/fact-sheets/13.-Building-Asia-literacy-through-schools.pdf

It’s really big on learning Asian languages.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/no-child-left-behind-on-asian-languages/story-fng5k1ek-1226510033367

Not everyone is into it.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/white-paper-merely-talks-the-talk-in-a-language-no-one-will-learn/story-e6frg76f-1226507832863

But Kevin Rudd is.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/kevin-rudd-says-asian-century-white-paper-positive-many-challenges-ahead/story-e6frg6n6-1226509982054

Learning language by ‘drip-feed’ doesn’t work.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teachers-know-dripfed-languages-fail-to-take-hold-20121102-28pms.html

How long does it take English speakers to learn a language?
http://corpora.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/difficult_languages.gif

Hindi is a priority language.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindi

UWA has a new Korean program.
http://www.sscs.arts.uwa.edu.au/home/asian-studies/korean