Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2016 Contents Languages
What majors can I study?
The following are just some of the majors you can study in this
· Aboriginal languages · German
· Arabic · Latin
· Chinese (Mandarin) · Linguistics
· Community languages · Spanish
· French · Translating and interpreting
To find out which institutions have courses with these specialisations, use
the Index on page 427.
What you're in for
Learning a second or third language opens up your eyes to a
whole new world. But if you're interested in languages yet don't
have the desire to learn a new one, a foreign language is not the
only path you can take. Many courses are available in English,
linguistics or applied linguistics, which all look at the human
language in very different ways.
Many of those who line up to do a language at university already
have a good grounding in a foreign language from school,
although a number of institutions now accept the raw beginner.
Beginners might do a special intensive course in first year or over
the summer break before joining the mainstream course at the
start of the next semester.
Courses and specialisations
Since language studies are often found in the most common of all
degrees (the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Business), they
are readily available at campuses throughout the country. The
options are broad and the task of finding your niche can be an
exciting challenge. Courses cover specialisations in a wide range
of languages, although most languages have only a small
number of students and are offered at only a few campuses, so
you will have to keep an open mind about where you go to study.
If you want more than language skills, another option is to
combine language studies with something like engineering,
business, law, education or tourism and hospitality through a
double degree. If it includes an Asian language, you will be in
demand in the employment market. Think about where you may
like to take your language, both in terms of personal fulfilment
and career, and ensure that the subjects and opportunities
offered by the institution match what you're looking for.
The student body and graduate ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
Where to study
The best language courses study the history, culture and even
the economics of the societies in which the languages are used,
as well as the languages themselves. There are also other things
to keep in mind when looking for a language course. Are native
speakers freely available? Does the institution run study tours or
summer schools in other countries? If not, do they have other
ways of teaching the language in context? Do they subsidise
exchange trips to study in other countries (which may be
essential for advanced learning)?
For details about entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
'How tough is it to get in?' tables in Section 4.
The Australian Government has introduced a number of
initiatives in recent years to encourage Australians to embrace
their ties within the Asia-Pacific region, including the AsiaBound
Grants Program and the New Colombo Plan, which provide
assistance for students to complete study in Asia. The
government has also highlighted the need to increase
opportunities to study the languages and cultures of key regional
neighbours. In response, institutions will aim to introduce more
opportunities to study Asian languages at tertiary level, especially
Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese.
The Australian Curriculum has seen English being taught as a
stand-alone subject up to Year 10 in every school across the
country. The second phase of the roll-out follows on with an
emphasis on languages. The language curriculum also includes
the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait
Islander Languages, which aims to bring native Australian
languages to national attention and help to fulfil the government's
aim to close the gap in Indigenous education. For younger
students, the federal government has made an effort to increase
language participation from an early age, with initiatives such as
the Early Learning Languages Australia trial, which sees
preschool children take part in interactive language study. It is
hoped that exposing students to language study during their
schooling years will have a flow-on effect, with more students
continuing the study of languages into university.
Total students % International % Domestic Estimated average Teaching quality Generic skills
students schoolleavers tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and are approximate. Confirm with the institution concerned. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 424.
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