Bilingual Education

Bilingual education is an inclusive environment where more than one language is used to learn – it is about learning what the world looks like in more than one language!


Bilingual education utilises two languages as means of instruction for students, providing them with the opportunity to learn curriculum content in, and through, both English and a target language. This is why in academic literature, another common name for bilingual programs is 'Dual Language Programs.'


Abbotsford Primary School is one of the ten government primary schools in Victoria that have been provided with additional funding to offer a Designated Bilingual Program (DBP). As a provider of a DBP, schools are required to provide face-to-face teaching in the target language to 100% of students for a minimum of 7.5 hours (30% of curriculum hours) up to 12.5 hours (50% of curriculum hours) per week.


Abbotsford Primary School is one of only two schools in Victoria that offer a Chinese/English bilingual program, and our program offers immersion in the Chinese language for 50% of the curriculum hours.



Why bilingual?


Bilingualism has always been a norm of humanity, and multiculturalism has always been an Australian reality over the last century. This is why we believe your child deserves a bilingual education.


A bilingual education brings many benefits. It:

  • promotes growth in the brain. This helps your child think more creatively and solve problems more easily.
  • builds strong literacy skills. This helps your child become a better reader, listener and speaker.
  • improves memory, concentration and numeracy.
  • builds your child's sense of identity and their connection to family, community and culture.

Bilingual children tend to have higher scores in maths, reading and vocabulary tests. Being bilingual also creates many opportunities for your child later in life when they start a career.


Check out the "Useful Resources" page under "Learning." We have collated some of the most up-to-date and accessible resources to help you understand the bilingual advantage!


Why Chinese?


  1. Chinese is Australia’s second largest language.  According to the 2016 Census, Chinese (Mandarin) is the second most widely spoken language in Australia, followed by Arabic.
  2. Knowing Chinese helps you make friends with over 1 billion people.  Chinese (Mandarin) is the largest language, as spoken by native speakers all over the world. It enjoys the status of being an official language in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Singapore, and is widely used for schooling and community life of large ethnic Chinese population in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
  3. Studying Chinese gives you access to world’s oldest civilisation and its wonders.  So much of the Chinese culture and history is only accessible through the language, from kung fu, to the Great Wall, dumplings, noodles, tai chi, feng shui, Taoism… Did you know, it was the Chinese that invented papermaking, printing, gunpowder, and the compass?
  4. Studying Chinese makes you smarter!  By being exposed to a completely different writing system and a tonal language where you develop greater sensitivity to pitch, you get to train your brain to become more flexible and adaptable. You will also get to see when the languages do not always have one-to-one translations, how different the world might look!
  5. Learning Chinese is not as hard as you think!  Chinese grammar is well-known to be one of the simplest in the world! There are no plurals, tenses, gender, verb conjugations… Having a strong knowledge of Chinese characters also makes learning Japanese, Korean and even Vietnamese much easier, since these languages all have a large repertoire of vocabulary borrowed from Chinese.
  6. Gain a competitive advantage in the business world.  China is currently the second biggest economy in the world, and the largest trading partners for many countries in the world. Proficiency in the Chinese language can open up new job and business opportunities almost everywhere.
  7. Chinese is learnt by some very cool people!  Did you know many celebrities in the world speak Chinese? Think Mark Zuckerberg, Mira Sorvino, Kevin Rudd, Vanessa Branch, Herbert Hoover, John Cena… And who knows? The next could be you!

Have a look at some of our students featured on ABC's News Breakfast in March 2018:


Check out the "Useful Resources" page under "Learning." We have collated some of the most user-friendly resources to help you learn some Chinese with your child!


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