State school students soon required to learn second language

QUEENSLAND state school students will be made to learn either Japanese, German, Mandarin, French, Italian or Indonesian under an ambitious plan the government claims will give kids the necessary skills to live in a global society.

Under the plan, to take effect from next year, state school students in years five to eight will be required to learn an additional language - a year earlier than the current minimum.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said on Monday the change to the government's mandatory languages policy coincides with a new plan released for consultation that sets the future plan for language education in state schools.

He said under the plan all state primary schools would offer languages from prep before 2025.

"Everything we do in education is directed towards better student results and it is widely acknowledged that learning a language has a positive impact on a student's overall literacy, enhancing their learning in other areas," he said.

"State schools decide which languages to offer in consultation with their school community.

"Successful language programs need a strong, shared commitment from both the school and community."

Queensland Association of State School Principals president Michael Fay said a one size approach does not always necessarily work.

He said the association would be monitoring the situation closely.

"It will be received in different ways in different communities across the state," he said.

"The best way to gauge if it has been a success is to see the uptake after the compulsory years.

"Some schools, especially regional ones, have found languages other than English have been a great addition to their curriculum, others have not."