Whose opinions matter more to secondary students? Their parents’? Their teachers’? We’d like to think so, but it’s often the opinion of peers that is so influential. That’s why Linden Davis (Peter Moyes Anglican Community School) and Kate Reitzenstein (Scotch College) enlisted former students to tell their stories of studying and getting great jobs using their Indonesian language skills.
Using NALSSP grants, Linden created posters and Kate a high-quality brochure. Both featured former students; a business development manager in Bali, the general manager of an engineering business, nurses, an animal conservationist and an economist.
Linden took a low-tech approach, interviewing and photographing former students and designing the posters himself then printing and laminating them as A3 posters. Didn’t he do a great job? The posters attracted lots of school and community interest when displayed at parents’ nights, in the school foyer, in classrooms and at the local shopping centre.
In the Scotch College brochure (download a copy below), families and friends learn about the the benefits and opportunities of learning Indonesian, especially at Scotch College. There are details of study opportunities at Murdoch University, the University of Western Australia and six other Australian universities and an exploration of career options where Indonesian language skills are an advantage. Widely distributed in the school community, the Scotch College brochure has been successful in raising awareness of the Indonesian program and the potential benefits for students’ career choices. Kate says that the focus on future careers resonates particularly well with her students and their families. Understanding the school community helped Kate to address their interests and motivations through the brochure.
In these two approaches to marketing the language program both schools have been proactive in engaging and informing the school community. They have raised awareness and provided a rationale for learning language now and for the future.