Importance of language

Learning and embracing one's heritage language is a beautiful journey that goes beyond words.

Children unlock a world of perspectives, and connect with different aspects of their identity.

By embracing their cultural and linguistic heritage, they can experience the warmth of their roots and establish profound connections with their family and ancestral origins.

Speaking the heritage language becomes a heartfelt bridge that connects generations, enabling conversations with older relatives, preserving treasured family traditions, and accessing the wisdom and cultural richness passed down through time.

This journey of bilingualism not only fills their lives with a deep sense of belonging but also opens doors to new friendships, diverse networks, and a greater understanding of the world around them.

It is a path of personal growth, cultural appreciation, and community integration that enriches life.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international treaty that recognised the human rights of all children, everywhere, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, socio-economic status or other status. More than 194 countries have signed the treaty, including Australia.

There are 54 articles, also known as rights, in the UNCRC.

Article 30 states that children have the right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, even if these are not shared by most people in the country where they live.

About Community Language Schools

A community language school (CLS) is a special and unique community-run school where people gather to share their heritage language and culture. These schools have a rich history in Australia, with the first school established by German immigrants in South Australia in 1839.

In NSW the Community Languages schools Program (CLSP) is funded by our State Government. This Program supports classes taught by over 3,000 volunteer teachers to approximately 37,500 students across 62 languages. These schools operate for a minimum of 2 hours per week, after school or on weekends. NSW Public Schools often host community language schools.

Australia-wide, more than 100,000 students are attending government-funded CLSs and over 10,000 volunteers are teaching in these schools. 96% of these teachers were born overseas, and almost 80% are tertiary trained.

In other parts of the world, Community Language Schools are known as Heritage Language Schools (USA), Complementary Schools (UK), and Ethnic Schools.

Hunter Community Languages is a peak body in NSW for the CLSP, funded by the NSW Government through the Department of Education. We play a vital role in supporting the Community Languages Schools Program throughout NSW. Located in the Hunter region, we understand the unique needs of schools in the regions, and we work with schools from Mullumbimby to Dubbo, Newcastle and the Central Coast. We also support Sydney schools, from Western Sydney to the Northern Beaches and everything in between!

Our membership base is continually growing and we have member schools all over NSW - our list of member schools.

We enthusiastically welcome new members to join our community. By becoming a member, you can enjoy numerous benefits, such as access to high quality member-only courses and resources, subsidised Public Liability Insurance, and support from our Education Officer.

You can easily join us through our website or feel free to get in touch with us.

You can support our work with a donation, which will help us to offer more resources and support to our member schools.

We are excited to hear from you and provide any assistance you may need.

Sign up to become a member

What can we help you achieve?

Join our community and establish your Community Language School. We provide access to coaching and skills-building to help plan, manage and grow your Community Language School.