The loss of the only Vietnamese bilingual program

The decision to terminate the program was made in April this year in a closed meeting, when the new administration was barely one school-term into its role. It was also the start of COVID-19 lockdown, when parents and community members were struggling to adapt to the pandemic

If a second Italian bilingual school is to be established, why should it come at the expense of the only Vietnamese bilingual program, located at the heart of the Vietnamese community in Victoria?

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Testimonial

Jorge Andres Jorquera

I support the Vietnamese bilingual program because I strongly believe that we need to fight for schools on Maribyrnong that are built on cultural diversity, communication and exchange. I want to see our local schools modelled on bringing families from dif...

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Han Ngoc Nguyen

My experience with being a student at Footscray Primary School (1997 – 2003) has meant that I have had the unique opportunity to not only maintain my mother tongue, but witness my non-Vietnamese peers be exposed to a rich and beautiful language. Everyday....

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Liz Walsh

In Maribyrnong, Vietnamese continues to be the language most spoken at home other than English. Replacing Vietnamese with Italian, a European language, is not the way to go even if, as the school argues, an Italian program is easier to resource. It would....

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Anita Cordon

I truly feel for the local Footscray community where Vietnamese is an immediately relevant language, not only in many of the households but all through the retail precinct and community, allowing for a wonderful immersion program and the learning benefits...

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News update

SUPPORT A VIETNAMESE BILINGUAL PRIMARY SCHOOL PROGRAM IN THE WEST! Next week I will be moving a motion on Maribyrnong Council in support of a Vietnamese bilingual primary school program in the West. As part of this campaign, we have also sent a PUBLIC LE...

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Housing a sense of self: for migrant communities, bilingual school programs are about more than learning

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Footscray Primary School's decision to change its bilingual teaching from Vietnamese to Italian has parents and teachers grappling with what a bilingual program needs to be successful.

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Footscray Primary School (FPS) and the Victorian Department of Education (DET) should reconsider the termination of the last Vietnamese bilingual program in Australia as it would be a great disservice to the students of Footscray Primary School and commun...

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“Many Vietnamese had been considered not good enough as teachers,” says Chau Cong, who left the school in 2018 after 15 years running the program. “That was the reason many left. They weren’t valued.”

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