The Victorian Government has revealed a plan aimed at increase and revamp the teaching of languages in Victorian schools, with State Education Minister Martin Dixon saying the move will mean thousands more students will be learning a language in 2013.


Mr Dixon said the Languages Start-Up Grants, totalling $1 million, would allow schools without an existing language program to introduce by in 2013.


Thirty-nine schools will receive Languages Start-Up Grants of up to $30,000 under Round 1 of the program and applications are now open for the second round of grants.


"Speaking another language helps students develop their first language, assists with problem solving skills, equips them with linguistic and intercultural skills and prepares them for a range of careers," Mr Dixon said.


Mr Dixon said the move would redress the ongoing slide in the rate of LOTE education throughout the state.


"In 1999, Indonesian was the most widely taught language in Victorian government primary schools, with 406 primary schools offering Indonesian to more than 82,000 students. By 2010, these numbers had more than halved, with 39,049 primary students studying Indonesian in 195 schools," Mr Dixon said 


"The good news is that we are now seeing signs of renewed interest from schools that now have the opportunity to offer languages, including Indonesian, in 2013."


Successful schools under the first round of the Languages Start-Up Grants program, will introduce languages including Indonesian, Japanese, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, German, Spanish and Wamba Wamba (an indigenous language of north western Victoria).


The most widely taught languages across all government primary schools and secondary colleges are: Italian, Japanese, Indonesian, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), and Greek.