There is a general recognition that learning of foreign languages is in decline in Australia. This paper uses the social constructivist theory as a conceptual framework to report on a project where university language students supported their high school peers in the learning of their specialist language in New South Wales, Australia. The project involved 15 university students from the University of Wollongong and over 100 high school students engaged in the study of five foreign languages (French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Mandarin) in four local schools. The first section gives the aims and rationale of the study; the second describes the methodology and data collection; and the third section discusses the results and evaluation of the project by the students involved in the study. Preliminary results show that both cohorts of students benefitted from the study in different ways. It was the direct interaction between both groups that allowed more advanced students to assist their younger peers and to reflect on their own language learning in the process. The conclusion discusses implications for widening access to foreign language education in Australia and bridging the gap between tertiary and secondary sectors.
Recommended CitationBissoonauth-Bedford, Anu and Stace, Ray, University Student Ambassadors Bring Languages Back to Their High School Peers, Journal of Peer Learning, 10, 2017, 18-40.