Learning a second language extends the capacity to communicate and develops understanding of and respect for diversity and difference. School students across Australia have the opportunity to engage in learning a second language thanks to the design of the new Australian Curriculum Languages which allows for the study of a second language from Prep all the way through to Year 12.
Language teachers utilise a wide range of strategies to help their students constantly improve reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. To help students reach fluency and become competent speakers, teachers are fortunate to have the opportunity to prepare their students to participate in events such as annual Language Speaking Competitions which allow language students to express their ideas, display their language skills and gain confidence in using the language they are studying.

In Queensland, during the month of August, regional Language Speaking Competitions were held in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns. This year, for the first time, Year 10-Year 12 students of Italian participating in the regional competitions, were invited to compete in the inaugural Italian Language Queensland State Championship held at the Italian Language Centre in Brisbane on 21 October.

The inaugural Qld State Championship was generously supported by the Italian government through the Italian Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate of Italy in Brisbane. The championship was held in October to coincide with the “XVIII Settimana della Lingua italiana nel mondo”. During the third week of October each year, thousands of global events take place to celebrate and promote the teaching and learning of Italian.

Students of Italian competing in the Queensland State Championship were required to present a speech based on this year’s theme: “L’italiano e la rete, le reti per l’italiano”.

The event was officially opened by Cav. Nereo Brezzi, President of Co.As.It. Community Services Ltd which includes the ILC (Italian Language Centre) division. Cav. Brezzi warmly welcomed the dignitaries and invited Dott. Ludovico Camussi, Italian consul for Queensland and Northern Territory to address the audience.

Judges Bernadine Leon (Dante Alighieri), Sara Visocnik (Griffith University) and Laura Zanichelli (Italian Language Centre) had a difficult task selecting the winners as the standard of spoken Italian was extremely high.

Contestants all received participation certificates as well as a memento bag of Italian products. Winners placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd were awarded sparkling trophies reflecting the green, white and red colours of the Italian flag.