Language teaching is taking a new (for me) and exciting step. Last year, the Australian National University offered students the opportunity to learn Mongolian from classes held at Indiana University (in exchange for our Indonesian lessons), a program set to continue, thanks to a recent agreement signed with the Mongolian Prime Minister.

Now ABCNews tells us that my own high school Narrabundah College has facilities designed for video-conference learning with classes in other countries.

Years ago, students practised their language skills with pen-pals, sending letters back and forth. As international travel became easier, they started exchange programs (for those who could afford it). The advent of the early internet allowed email pen-pals, and eventually even instant messaging and Skype to practice. It wasn’t long before there were online classes offering VoIP or video lessons from native speakers.

It’s good to see the same possibility offered within educational institutions. I hope others will soon be able to access the same facilities.

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

Choose what you pay, from $99.

Sign up now

Our media landscape is amongst the most concentrated in the democratic world. Big media businesses are marred by big media interests. If you want the full, untainted picture on important issues — our environment, corruption, political competence, our culture, our economy — Crikey is required reading.

I am a private person that takes online privacy very seriously but I wanted to contribute my words to this campaign as I genuinely believe that we will improve as a country if more people read publications such as Crikey.

Josh
Sydney, NSW

Join now and save up to 50%

Subscribe before June 30 and choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50%