You’re in Australia: Speak English!

HIGH schools with a high proportion of students from migrant families dominate the top 10 performers in the national literacy and numeracy tests.

An analysis by The Sun-Herald of top performers in the year 9 NAPLAN tests shows that not only do selective high schools top Higher School Certificate results, they are topping the basic skills tests in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and numeracy.

More than 85 per cent of students at seven of the 10 top achievers in the HSC come from homes where a language other than English is spoken. All seven schools are also in the top 10 achievers in NAPLAN test results.

The data is based on information provided on the federal government’s My School website, which was launched on Friday.

It shows 97 per cent of students at James Ruse Agricultural High School, which has topped every NAPLAN test and HSC results for more than a decade, are from non-English-speaking backgrounds.


Now… Let’s compare the literacy and numeracy skills of those with Language Backgrounds Other Than English (LBOTE) with some home grown patriotic Aussies who have no problems bad mouthing immigrants:

25 thoughts on “You’re in Australia: Speak English!

    • Not sure what you’re expecting him to say? He doesn’t want non-white people in Australia. That’s all. He is not amenable to facts or reason or anything else.

      • Sorry, you’re quite right. It’s just that my ears were buzzing and my head was ringing with the sounds of his silence (I mean, usually he’s such a copious and verbose contributor to these pages, he provides about 80% of the total content), and all that buzzing and ringing affected my judgement for a while.

        re Zulu, no we shouldn’t disown him, if by that you mean ban him. Censorship, lad … not good. Besides, if he goes away this site will fold up and die for lack of content.

      • i meant can we as a country disown him? i mean what does he actually do for this country that he claims to want to protect from the evil non whites?

      • zulu (09:05:40) :
        i meant can we as a country disown him? i mean what does he actually do for this country that he claims to want to protect from the evil non whites?


  1. Both hilarious and disturbing. It also shows why Australia needs immigration- to cancel out the moron Bogans who are of no use to society. Other than, perhaps menial or manual labour.

  2. Interesting comment from Tyler Rosted, about Australians moving to China and speaking Chinese.

    I worked in China for 12 months, I was with Australians who had lived there (coming home every four months for visa requirements) for up to 3 years. Their grasp of Mandarin ( the appropriate dialect where we were) was what you would expect from a 2 year old. Except they had happily learnt how to swear and belittle their Chinese workers in Mandarin.

    Some of these Australians help respectable positions in the company, both in Australia and China.

    It was a real eye opener to see how some will behave when given a gardener, a maid, a personal assistant… you know, slave labour by any other name.

    It was like going back in time to feudal Europe, these Australian considered themselves as some sort of Lords. The behaviour toward their Chinese workers was deplorable.

    One comment that sticks in my mind, as Mr ‘H’ was having his house cleaned by two Chinese workers he was sitting at his desk half drunk. He looked at me and said ‘ you know Mike, its bloody great living here as a white man, these monkeys will do anything for a few bucks. Its shit going back to Australia now that I have had all this. The problem with Australia is every prick has ‘rights’ and you cannot afford good cheap monkey labour.’

    I left for good not long after.

  3. Dear Mike,

    All sorts of expats, not just Australians, do that to their fellow ‘inferior’ local workers, especially if they are in a developing or semi-developed country. Their sort of behaviour shits me to tears because it makes the rest of us normal expats look terrible like we’re all monsters when we’re clearly not.

    Fortunately, since I’m a teacher, I’m around educated international people who know how things work and know how to be adaptable and flexible, even if they can’t speak the language. I can tell you my little grasp of Vietnamese is very well appreciated by the taxis and it makes my life so much easier.

    The people who tell others to “speak English” don’t realise how hard it is to live, work and learn a new language and culture simultaneously. And these are the same people who would do EXACTLY what they’re telling every other immigrant NOT to do, were they overseas as an expat. Hypocritical, anyone?

    I don’t like the fact that the SMH put these schools’ scores onto a league table, which IMHO should be completely illegal as when you start getting to school 200 it’s completely meaningless and labels children unnecessarily, but the results do show the baseless nature of these fuckwits’ fears.

  4. Wow, i’m finding their appalling spelling and grammar just about as offensive as the content of their badly written prose. It’s just laziness in both behaviour and thought.

  5. I work in a customer service role in Western Sydney. I’ve gotta say, I don’t care that a minority of people who speak other languages at home manage to top the charts. That doesn’t mean anything. Those areas are generally all European in ethnicity, so my bet is the majority of those languages would be European ones (most probably German, French and Italian) and probably aren’t their first languages, but languages that they’ve learnt. For example, I speak English as my first language but also know German, and I speak that at home and am eligible to put the fact down on my HSC.

    The vast majority of people who I can’t understand when speaking to in the department store I work in I almost always see talking another language moments before, or after, to a relative/friend. So, I still strongly believe that English should be enforced as our first language if you were born in Australia, and you should be able to learn another language if you wish to do so, whether it be of your heritage or not, once you learn English fluently. Of course if you don’t know English when you move to Australia, it can’t possibly be your first language, so an appropriate exception can be made, but the Govt. should ensure that these people get the proper training and qualify in speaking English fluently… or at least to the level of the bogan.

    • The Government provides free English tuition to migrants. Children who attend school in Australia are given mandatory intensive English tuition. ESL for NESB (English as a Second Language to children from Non English Speaking Backgrounds).

      • Obviously giving migrants the option to undertaken tuition is not enough – mandatory tuition where they are obligated to pass a certain level of fluency is necessary.

        • Second languages are difficult to learn – moreso for some people than others. Some find it easy, others find it really difficult. Kind of like… maths. Or logic.

          If a person elects not to take up English language tuition, it really is going to make life far more difficult for them than for anyone who has to serve them. Regardless, if they have children here, their children will go to school, will learn to speak English, and we’re no worse off.

          Of course, I think people *should* make their best attempt to learn the language of the country they are living in – I have lived in a non-English speaking country and I had to learn the language, but it wasn’t easy. I had both the hardship and the benefit of not having any English speakers around me for the first six months of living there, so I had no choice but to adapt quickly. That being said, it still took a long time for me to become fluent. After that initial six months I did meet some other newly-arrived English speakers, and they really struggled to learn the local language. And of course, we would all see each other, and if we were having lunch or walking down the street together, we would speak English. It was a relief to be able to speak to other people and say everything you wanted to say, in the way you wanted to say it, rather than speaking at a 5-year old level in the native language and being treated like you therefore only had the mental capacity of a 5-year old.

          It was a natural thing for us to gravitate towards each other and to converse in our own language when we could – although I should say, when we were out anywhere and were being served, I made sure never to ask questions for them or order for them, to try to make them speak the local language. But of course, they would feel pressured, scared of not knowing how to say what they wanted, scared of getting it wrong and looking silly… and having people look at you impatiently or treat you with condescension.

          My point is, yes, learning English in Australia should be actively encouraged. Of course. But it isn’t easy, particularly for adults. And it is scary to try to do in public. We should have some sense of that. And we should also stop getting in a twist about people speaking to each other in their own language in public – if they’re not speaking to you, it’s none of your business anyway. They’re not doing it to be rude, they’re just enjoying the freedom to communicate effectively.

          And if worst comes to worst and they never learn the language, their own life is the one which will be most affected, not yours… and it will never last more than that generation in that person’s family.

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