Indonesian language education in Australia: Patterns of provision and contending ideologies

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Since the introduction of Indonesian in the 1950s, the nature and extent of programs for studying the language in Australian schools has varied significantly. A decade on from the national report on the state of Indonesian language education in Australian schools that indicated a substantial decline in provision ( Kohler & Mahnken, 2010 ), it is timely to take stock and consider how Indonesian is faring and why. This paper reports on a mixed methods study exploring the state and nature of Indonesian language provision in government schools in Australia. The findings indicate that while some decline continues overall, patterns of provision vary, particularly at different levels of schooling. The findings highlight the need for a nuanced understanding of the confluence of factors impacting on Indonesian, including contending ideologies; none of which adequately capture the intrinsic value and distinctiveness of studying Indonesian in the Australian context.

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