ViệtSpeak pushes for new Vietnamese-English bilingual program in Braybrook ECEC

ViệtSpeak pushes for new Vietnamese-English bilingual program in Braybrook ECEC

by Freya Lucas

November 18, 2021

Local advocacy group ViệtSpeak is pushing for a new Vietnamese-English bilingual program to be introduced in a Braybrook early childhood education and care (ECEC) centre in Victoria.


ViệtSpeak is seeking a $25,000 contribution from the Maribyrnong Council to help attract matched funding to establish a three-year bilingual program at the Goodstart Early Learning service in Braybrook, a suburb where 30 percent of the population speak Vietnamese at home.


An open letter to the council asking for $25,000 towards the proposal notes that the contribution would attract Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for the project, local news source Star Weekly reports


The campaign comes after Maribyrnong lost the country’s only Vietnamese-English bilingual program when Footscray Primary School (FPS) cut its program last year in favour of an Italian language program.


That decision, ViệtSpeak member Brendan Duong told the paper, “went against the wishes of a majority of surveyed parents” and was made despite an online petition against ending the program that attracted 18,000 signatories.


ViệtSpeak has engaged with Little Multilingual Minds (LMM), a group of language education specialists in the Centre of Excellence for Dynamics of Language, funded by the ARC to further its ambitions.


The three-year program would include professional development for staff in the centre on how to support multilingual learners. Council has provisionally supported the idea with Maribyrnong Councillor Jorge Jorquera raising a notice of motion at a recent council meeting calling on the council to “lend concrete support” to ViệtSpeak in developing a Vietnamese-English bilingual language program at the centre.


To read the original coverage of this story please see here