So as the umbrella body for all language-focused teaching associations in the state, executive members are all too aware of their role in spearheading the push.
With this in mind, MLTASA recently hosted their bi-annual conference “Languages: Step Forward”, to formally rally the troops, so to speak.
President Lynn Davis says the one-day event was intended to emphasise the crucial role that language teachers must play in ensuring the nation can be a viable player on a global scale.
“In Australia, language (learning) is often seen as something extra and not central, and lately with political rhetoric with trade and needing to be part of a global society, there is more and more focus on people learning languages.
“So we want languages to step forward as being a primary thing for people to learn and be interested in,” Davis shares.
A brief opening address from SA’s Education Minster Susan Close set the buoyant tone for the day, as delegates went on hear from Sean Keenihan, Chairman of the South Australian Tourism Commission and Vice President of the Australia China Business Council.
“So he was talking about where languages took him in terms of his own career ... and the benefits of learning a language; that it makes you smarter, holds off Alzheimer’s and there have been studies that have shown that you use a different part of your brain when you learn an Asian language.
“He actually talked more about it from the business perspective ... which was interesting for us teachers to hear about that,” Davis says.
With more than 14 educator-run workshops touching on everything from effective assessment, to building international sister school partnerships, Davis says the event was the perfect opportunity for members to step up and share their expertise, in addition to topping up their own knowledge bank.
“That’s part of our ethos, we’re trying to get teachers working with teachers and networking with teachers”, Davis says.
And as the SA representative with the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, Davis is excited for the language revival on our doorstep.
“We actually just came back recently from a legislative assembly ... we actually met with Confucius Institute in China and the Federation is hoping to support the Confucius Institute in training teachers to come over here,” Davis says.