An aide to the minister told Kyodo News that NALSAS was originally intended to run for 10 years, but that the decision to cut federal funding to the program, which also receives some state funding, was made in 1999 after a government review.
But the government's decision to ax the program has provoked sharp criticism from Asian educators who say NALSAS has not yet sufficiently boosted the level of Asian-language study in schools.
John Lo Bianco, chief executive of Language Australia, an independent national languages and literacy research body, told Kyodo News he was saddened by the decision to cut funding to NALSAS.
In 2008 the Federal Government provided significant funding for the development of language study in four key Asian languages through the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP), a follow-up program to the earlier National Asian Languages and Studies of Asia in Schools (NALSAS
Previous programs aiming to increase Asia literacy had promoted Korean as the fourth priority Asian language (NALSAS, NALSSP) and indeed the 2012 white paper Australia in the Asian Century seeks to preserve an impression of continuity by including the statement that 'governments should continue to support efforts to increase the study of other languages such as Korean, Vietnamese and Thai' (Australia, 2012, p.
Asian languages were considered vulnerable following the termination of the Commonwealth Government's NALSAS (National Asian Languages and Studies in Australian Schools 1994/95-2002) program: fewer than 5% of undergraduates studied an Asian language, well short of the target of 20% by 2000.
As noted above, funding for the first project on standards, the Development of Standards for Teachers of Indonesian project, was provided through the NALSAS
Strategy, which aimed to improve participation and proficiency levels in Asian languages and to support studies of Asia across the curriculum (MCEETYA, 2003).
Language policy and planning, languages other than English, second language education, NALSAS
35-43) and finally succeeded in their efforts when the National Asian Languages and Studies Strategy in Australia Schools (NALSAS) program was introduced into the Australian education system in 1994.
The NALSAS program, ambitious and longterm in comparison to many other Federal initiatives, was unprecedented.
Canberra: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs on behalf of the National Asian Languages (NALSAS
Based on recent National Asian Languages and Studies for Australian Schools (NALSAS
) research, under the guidance of Andrew Serimgeour of the University of South Australia, the character catalogues and associated learning objects aim to enhance a student's understanding of the Chinese and Japanese writing systems through analysis and interaction rather than simple memorisation.