Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson has reaffirmed the Queensland Government's commitment to the study of languages in years 6, 7 and 8.
Mr Wilson said 90 per cent of Queensland state schools would teach languages in years 6, 7 and 8 by the start of the 2011 school year, with the remainder of schools coming on board in 2012.
"A 21st century education needs to equip young people to participate and engage across an increasingly globalised world," Mr Wilson said.
"The Queensland Government believes that through learning languages our students gain intellectual, social and cultural benefits.
"Learning a language provides them with analytical and communication skills that will enhance their learning in other areas."
Mr Wilson said the languages taught in schools would be determined by the school principal in collaboration with the school community, and in response to student needs.
"Many of our schools currently offer languages in some form or another," he said.
"What we are doing now is ensuring there is consistency of learning across schools and in the key middle years of learning.
"Establishing the study of language in upper primary school provides a strong early foundation in language learning from which students can move forward into secondary school and continue their study in a setting that allows for deeper specialisation.
"Mandatory language study in years 6, 7 and 8 provides a good basis for those who will seek to continue to study languages until the end of high school and beyond."
Mr Wilson said the restoration of languages in the middle years would recognise that Indigenous languages and Auslan (sign-language) were also options for schools for language study.
"Asian languages are also an important option for our schools as a greater cultural understanding and the ability to engage with our regional neighbours in their own language will provide extensive future for individual students and Queensland," he said.
"As the Australian languages curriculum is developed over the next few years, schools will begin using the national curriculum where it is available in the language that is offered in their school.
"The introduction of this national curriculum will provide young people across Australia with an opportunity to learn languages through a consistent and world-class curriculum."
More information about Languages in Queensland state schools can be found at: http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/area/lote/index.html
Minister for Education and Training
The Honourable Geoff Wilson