The Australian Curriculum: Languages is designed to enable all students to engage in learning a language in addition to English. The Australian Curriculum: Languages recognises that language learning is for all students in Australian schools, with individual students bringing their own linguistic and cultural background to their learning, whether this is English or the target language or various combinations of languages.
The Australian Curriculum: Languages includes the development of language-specific curricula and a Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages. The organisation of the curriculum addresses the key variables of learner background in the target language and time on task. It also takes account of the different entry points into languages, across Foundation – Year 10, which reflects current practice.
Writing of the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages
Following national consultation, including discussion with state and territory curriculum authorities, the ACARA Board agreed on a schedule for development of the Languages learning area.
The ACARA Board agreed that (except for Chinese and the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages) the F–10 curriculum for each language to be developed will be pitched to the dominant cohort of learners for that language in the current Australian context. Teachers may however choose to use the F–10 curriculum for a specific language to cater for learners of different backgrounds by making appropriate adjustments to differentiate the learning for these students.
The languages for which F–10 Australian Curriculum will be developed by the end of 2013 – early 2014 are:
- a Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages (the Framework)
- Arabic and Vietnamese (pitched to learners who have some background in the language)
- French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek and Spanish (pitched to second language learners)
- Chinese (three learner pathways to be developed to cater specifically for second language learners across F–10, background language learners across F–10 and first language learners in Years 7–10).
Further work will be undertaken to determine the process and timelines for developing Australian Curriculum in additional languages beyond those listed above (in the first instance, Auslan, classical languages, Hindi and Turkish).
Revised Chinese and Italian curricula
The draft Chinese and Italian curricula were revised following national consultation and the validation process. The revised documents were available for viewing and comment from 8 to 22 November 2013. Formal feedback was sought from state and territory education authorities through the ACARA Languages National Panel. Any written feedback from individuals or groups outside of the National Panel and further revisions are being made to these curricula.
Validation of achievement standards
The purpose of the validation process is to ensure that the achievement standards provide a clear progression of achievement across each band of learning. Validation of the achievement standards for Chinese and Italian began in July 2013.
As part of this process, ACARA hosted a workshop with teachers and curriculum experts from across the country to critique and provide feedback about the pitch, progression and clarity of the achievement standards. Feedback from the validation process has informed further revisions to the draft curriculum for Chinese and Italian.
Validation of the draft French and Indonesian achievement standards commenced in February 2014. The revised curricula prepared for the validation of achievement standards is now available for viewing on the ACARA website. This draft work in progress is not a formal consultation document. Additional refinements will be made in response to feedback from participants in the validation process.
Draft Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages
The draft Foundation – Year 10Australian Curriculum: Languages was released for public consultation over two stages. The draft Chinese and Italian curricula were available for public consultation from 19 December 2012 to 12 April 2013. The draft curricula for Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese, along with the draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages, were available for public consultation from May 2013 to 25 July 2013.
Both stages of consultation provided stakeholders with an opportunity to give feedback on the overarching aspects of the Languages learning area that apply to all languages (including the Preamble, Rationale, Aims and Organisation of the Languages learning area), as well as feedback on the language-specific curriculum documents.
Consultation feedback was received via an online survey on the Australian Curriculum consultation website
and through written submissions. Consultation on the draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages
was supplemented by a series of face-to-face community consultation forums
in 18 key sites across the country from May to July 2013. These forums engaged local communities and gathered targeted feedback on the draft Framework
The draft Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages is currently being revised in consideration of the feedback received during both stages of consultation. The revised curricula will be considered for approval by the ACARA Board and by ministers in late 2013 and early 2014.
Shaping of the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages
The Shape of the Australian Curriculum Languages
The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages
paper provides broad directions for the development of languages curriculum. The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages
was endorsed by the ACARA Board after revisions were made following consultation and was published on 21 November 2011.
Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages Consultation Report
Stakeholder consultation on the draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages was conducted from 31 January 2011 to 11 April 2011. ACARA received 2150 survey responses from a wide range of stakeholders representing many languages, including teachers, principals, parents, students, academics, professional associations, state and territory education authorities, and the general public. The consultation report provides analysis of the feedback received in the surveys along with more than 150 formal submissions.
Languages Initial Advice Paper
The ACARA Board appointed Associate Professor Angela Scarino as the lead writer for development of the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. Dr Jakelin Troy was appointed to write the Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages sections of the paper.
The development of the Initial Advice Paper was supported by the Languages Advisory Group and the Expert Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages.
The Initial Advice Paper was made available for targeted consultation at the National Languages Forum, on 25 October 2010. Approximately 150 people with expertise and/or interest in languages education from across Australia participated in this national forum. Consultation feedback from the forum was analysed and used to inform the development of the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages.
Languages Position Paper
ACARA identified key issues to be resolved prior to drafting the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. Some of the key issues identified that required resolution included defining an appropriate rationale for learning languages and shaping the design and structure of the languages curriculum.
In developing a position paper for the languages curriculum to address these key issues, ACARA was assisted by the Languages Reference Group, which included academics, school leaders, teachers, members of professional associations and curriculum experts.