The Australian Curriculum: Languages is designed to enable all students in Australia to learn a language in addition to English. The Australian Curriculum: Languages recognises that students bring their own linguistic and cultural background to their learning, whether this is English or the target language or various combinations of languages. The organisation of the curriculum addresses learner background in the target language by providing a number of pathways and entry points of study to cater for background language learners, first language learners and second language learners.
The Australian Curriculum: Languages includes a Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages and language-specific curricula for world languages. Additional curriculum development in 2015–16 will also include Australian Sign Language (Auslan), Hindi, Turkish and classical languages. The different stages of development and anticipated availability dates are:
The Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages can be found at the Australian Curriculum website.
Recently, ACARA commenced the development of the Australian Curriculum: Languages for Auslan (Australian Sign Language) by hosting a two-day scoping workshop, which included representatives from key organisations such as the National Association of Australian Teachers of the Deaf, Auslan Teachers Association and Deaf Australia.
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Development of the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages
The Australian Curriculum: Languages has been developed with reference to the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages, the Curriculum Design Paper V3.1 and the Australian Curriculum Languages: Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum Design Paper.
Languages Position Paper
Development of the Australian Curriculum: Languages commenced in 2009 with a position paper addressing key issues such as defining an appropriate rationale for learning languages and shaping the design and structure of the languages curriculum. In developing the position paper, ACARA was guided by the Languages Reference Group, an expert group comprising academics, school leaders, teachers, members of professional associations and curriculum experts.
Languages Initial Advice Paper
Following the position paper, Associate Professor Angela Scarino was appointed as the lead writer for development of the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. Doctor Jakelin Troy was appointed to write the Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages sections of the paper.
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.
Consultation on the draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages
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. Consultation Report on the Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages (PDF 1.3 mb)
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages
Following consultation revisions, the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages paper was endorsed by the ACARA Board and was published in November 2011. This document provides broad directions for the development of languages curriculum.
Writing of the draft Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Languages
Writing of the draft curriculum content commenced in August 2011 and was conducted in a staged approach, beginning with the drafting of the overview section, presented as an introduction to the Languages Learning Area, and Chinese and Italian. Stage 2 development included the draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages and language-specific curricula for Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The draft curricula were made available for public consultation from December 2012 to July 2013. 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 final report is now available.
Validation of achievement standards
Validation of achievement standards occurred in July and August 2013 for Chinese and Italian and in 2014 for the stage two languages. Validation is an important process to ensure the achievement standards provide a clear and suitable progression of achievement across each band of learning. As part of this process, ACARA hosted several workshops with language 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 informed further revisions to the draft curricula for all languages.