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Parents and language learning

Language teachers are encouraged to advocate for languages education as actively and widely as possible, across their school ‘s community: students, parents, teachers of other learning areas and school leaders. 

Strengthening parent’s support and demand for Asian Languages is an important part of the schools role in developing and advocating their language program.

Five key approaches have been identified in strengthening parental support for the learning of Asian Languages in schools: 

1. Build and formalise leadership to parental engagement:

  • formalise recognition and support of parental engagement in school policies/documents
  • regularly communicate to parents the school’s commitment to, and appreciation of, parental engagement
  • build leadership support

2. Foster parents’ awareness and positive views of Asian languages and cultures:

  • invite parents to attend cultural events hosted at the school
  • request parents to contribute actively to in-school and out-of-school cultural activities
  • encourage parents to become homestay hosts in exchange programs involving the target language and culture

3. Build and sustain parent demand for Asian language learning:

  • showcase language ‘role models’, e.g. alumni that have since continued with Asian language study and use their linguistic abilities professionally and in daily life
  • highlight the benefits and value of learning an Asian language

4. Keep parents in the loop about the language program and their child’s progress:

  • disseminate language specific newsletter, or section of a newsletter
  • utilise online learning and sharing platforms, and provide login details to parents
  • invite parents to school based events where students share their language learning portfolio with parents
  • inform parents about language learning content and pedagogy

5. Provide parents with practical tools to support their child’s language learning:

  • suggest useful language learning apps for use at home
  • set up online learning and sharing platforms that parents can access using a password
  • provide language learning resources to facilitate revision
  • provide advice to parents on supporting language learning at home

Adapted from What Works 8: Parents and the learning of Asian Languages in schools.

Illustrations of practice


  • Language Learning Space Access resources and watch a video of former students talking about the advantages of learning a language.
  • Advocate for Languages A curated digital resource list with links to the cognitive and social benefits of learning an additional language and approaches to teaching/learning.


Images: Overnewton Anglican Community College, St Columba's College, Tranby College

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