It was Wittgenstein who said “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world”, and one can hardly find arguments against this statement. In the world that is becoming more and more connected and reliant on different cultures, those who have a good command of several languages will find it much easier to find their place under the sun.
In the context of Australia, we should definitely look into the opportunities provided by speaking Indonesian, since Bahasa Indonesia is the second language in this country. So, whether you’d like your kid to use this language for business or some other purpose, it makes perfect sense to help them master the language of a country that is so close and that has so many connections with the Land Down Under. So, what is it that parents can do to help their kids?
Doing is the key
To begin with, if a parent has not been showing a lot of interest in their kid’s education, it’s time they started. It’s only by being active that you can make a difference, which would benefit your kid. If, on the other hand, you are involved in some way in what’s happening at your kid’s school, you might want to make your voice heard a bit better. In a nutshell, a proactive approach has to be taken, with an aim to provide the best and most relevant education to all kids.
The school board
If you wish to make an impact and highlight the value of learning Indonesian in Australian schools, you can’t simply turn to the principal or superintendent. Your port of call should be the elected school board, which deals with concerns relating to the school’s policies or curriculum. Being an elected member of the school board is by far the most effective way to make yourself heard and propose ideas that would benefit everyone. If you can’t be a member of the board for any reason, at least attend their meetings regularly and comment on their agenda and decisions.
Keep abreast with the development
Being informed about what’s going on at your kid’s school is of great importance. Not only should you follow their academic progress, but also learn about plans for the future. Luckily, there is no longer a need to spend many hours meeting teachers or school administrators in order to obtain such information. Most schools now use a modern cloud school management system, which allows parents to get all the information they need. If your school is not using one, it might be another idea you could put forward to decision-makers.
Look for support
Though there are many things an individual can do without anyone’s help, it’s always a better idea to find like-minded people to help you fight for the cause. That’s why you should try to get your point across to many other parents whose kids go to the same school or a school in the same district. If they’ve never thought about their kids learning Indonesian, point out the future benefits of knowing a language that is spoken by so many people and the future opportunities for employment, since Indonesian economy is still developing and will need experts who speak the language.
Use social media
If you want Australian education to move forward, you have to use modern technology. Social media sites provide the easiest and most efficient way to make yourself heard and organise support in very little time. There are many stories about how parents used such sites to create groups to fight planned changes they were strongly against. The same method can be used to put pressure on decision-makers to introduce some positive changes, such as learning Indonesian in Australian schools.
Get your facts straight
Even if you manage to get vocal about the case in question, you can’t expect your idea to bear fruit unless it’s substantiated with facts. So, make sure you point out the benefits of having Indonesian classes in school curricula. Make sure you mention the number of speakers who use the language, the cultural and business cooperation between the countries, as well as the benefits of learning a language used in a culture quite different from the one your kid is growing up in. If you don’t insist on facts, people will be likely to believe you are pushing the idea for some personal or even selfish reasons and will not get on board. Since you need every kind of help you can get, you can’t afford such opinions to be formed.
Basically, you need to be vocal, passionate and persistent if you want changes to happen. Also, you should be ready to elaborate on the suggestion, which you can’t do unless you have some solid facts to support your idea. Finally, you’d better mobilize all the support you can get to make your case stronger. If you manage to do all that, many generations of Australian kids will benefit from your effort.