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In learning languages, students do have a choice

Frank Keighley, founder of CAL

SENIOR secondary school students have the opportunity to study the language of their choice, should their school not offer the language they wish to be proficient in, thanks to the Canberra Academy of Languages (CAL). 

“We are a not-for-profit organisation registered with the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies as a specialist education provider,” says the founder, Frank Keighley. 

Ainslie School hosts the Canberra Academy of Languages.

Offering six language courses for year 11 and 12 students in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Tamil, Frank says that since their highly qualified language teachers began working with students in 2017, each year they have been able to add more language options and enrolments have increased each year.

“Students are able to count their language studies with us towards their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and receive a credit for their language-course scores towards their final ATAR results, if these are amongst their four best scores,” says Frank. 

“Our students tell us how important it is to them to be able to study and become a clear communicator in the language of their choice, if their school doesn’t offer it.” 

Students attend the academy from a cross-section of schools, and Frank says that they enjoy learning alongside like-minded peers. 

Based at Ainslie School, the courses are run after school hours and incorporate a blended model of study that involves face-to-face teaching and independent coursework.

Frank says that there are many benefits of achieving proficiency in more than one language, with research showing that multilingual students benefit from improved cognitive outcomes across all of their studies. 

“Anyone who has travelled has seen how the interaction and connection with locals can be vastly improved with an understanding of the target language,” says Frank, who is fluent in French and has worked in a secondary school in France. 

He also speaks German and some Greek, Spanish and Indonesian. Frank was previously a languages teacher and school leader in the ACT and is a former president of the ACT Modern Language Teachers’ Association.

Students and their families who are interested in studying at CAL are invited to email their enquiry as an expression of interest to info@cal.act.edu.au in the first instance. 

The CAL registration evening for term one will be held as an online meeting 6pm-7pm, on Thursday, February 3. Details are on the events page at cal.act.edu.au. Register by emailing info@cal.act.edu.au to receive a link for the meeting.

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