Saturday School of Modern Languages

Saturday School of Modern Languages in Victoria was the institution which made the teaching of Slovenian language possible. The school was established in 1934 by a teacher who believed young Australians should have a greater choice of languages to study than French and German. Students were able to study on Saturday, which was traditionally a school-free day. The school first offered Japanese, German and Dutch, closed for the duration of WW2, then resumed and flourished again. It received a great impetus during decades of the first great waves of migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds. When Slovenian was introduced in 1977, the school had grown to 23 languages. The school offered a model, followed by other Australian states. At one time Canada showed interest.

Slovenian thrived and developed as a language offered at all levels within the system and despite being one of the smallest groups, Aleksandra Ceferin established it in a leading role in the area of language curriculum development.

The Saturday School was renamed as the Victorian School of Languages in 1986. Today it comprises of  34 centres throughout Victoria, 14,000 students, and 700 staff. Instruction is provided for 43 languages from Year 1 to Year 12 for primary and secondary students. Distance education is available.

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