Community Languages Australia

Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Associations Inc.

Curriculum Support / Resources

Leaders Leading Australian Curriculum: Languages Toolkit

1. Languages support

2. Approaches and models for languages provision

3. Building student and community engagement in languages

4. Languages research

5. Whole school languages planning tools

6. FAQ about languages education

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Languages Education

One of the Australian Government’s role in languages education is to provide national policy leadership and to encourage and facilitate innovation and the implementation of national priorities by States, Territories and non-government education providers.

Knowing the languages of our key regional partners will assist Australian children to succeed in an increasingly competitive world. The Australian Government is working to revive the teaching of foreign languages in Australian schools with the goal to ensure that at least 40 per cent of Year 12 students are studying a language other than English, with a focus on Asian languages, within a decade.

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Language curriculum

Integration of language and culture

In 2008, the School of Languages and Linguistics and the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne began to reform the language curriculum to more readily face the professional, global and cultural challenges of the new millennium. The new language curriculum is based on international best-practice models. It integrates the teaching of language and culture in a proficiency-based model cares for students from all backgrounds and from across the University.

The new curriculum will be introduced in 2012 and 2013 for the 9 languages offered by the two Schools.

Proficiency-based language progression

The language curriculum is based on a sequential progression of proficiency levels from 1 to 10 that is designed for learners at any stage, from total beginners to advanced. Each semester constitutes one step in the sequence of subjects. Students can enter at different points, depending on their language proficiency. All learners from total beginners to post-VCE students, as well as students with an advanced (native or near-native) command of the language, will be placed in the sequence at the commencement of their studies and then progress sequentially through the levels.

Starting in 2012, new placement tools will help each student enrol. Placement tools in Arabic and French will be available in 2012. Placement tools in other languages will be available in 2013.

Added value

Language students at The University of Melbourne have access to unparalleled learning opportunities, including exchange programs, mobility scholarships, language clubs, exciting cultural events, worldclass facilities and highly experienced, internationally focussed academic staff.

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Languages Learning Area

The Languages Learning Area is an essential part of a broad and balanced education

for all learners. Learning another language extends the cognitive and conceptual

development and problem-solving skills of learners. It increases their awareness of

how language works and can assist signifi cantly in developing literacy. The language

and cultural understandings developed promote cross-cultural relationships, thereby

contributing to social cohesion.

  • acquire, maintain and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding to communicate effectively in languages other than English
  • develop and extend their awareness, knowledge and understanding of the inter relationship between language and culture
  • increase their understanding of, and the ability to analyse, the function and structure of language
  • extend their awareness, knowledge and understanding of Standard Australian English by comparing other languages
  • develop analytical, critical and creative thinking skills applicable to studies in other learning areas
  • access the range of post-school options where languages can be used, including employment, education, training, travel, leisure, community and family involvement

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NT Curriculum Framework

With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum, teachers will be using the two curricula; Australian Curriculum and the NTCF to teach, assess and report.

In 2012 the Learning Area Achievement Standards for the Northern Territory were developed to enable a consistent assessment and reporting methodology using the two curricula.

Teachers are required to use the following learning areas until they are replaced by the relevant Australian Curriculum learning area or subject.

Learning Area Achievement Standards for the Northern Territory (MS Word Document 122.6 KB | PDF File 285.4 KB)

The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages

1. The Australian Curriculum: Languages will be designed to enable all students to engage

in learning a language in addition to English.
2. The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages has been designed to guide the
development of languages curriculum by ACARA. It is anticipated that the Shape of the
Australian Curriculum: Languages will also be used to guide languages curriculum
development by other organisations and that it will be the basis for recognition of such
curriculum by ACARA.

WA Language Curriculum

Languages education is an integral part of a balanced school curriculum. It plays an important role in preparing students for effective participation as global citizens of the 21st century. School communities work collaboratively to increase levels of participation, engagement and achievement in languages programs from primary school through to Year 12. The main languages taught in Western Australian public schools are Aboriginal languages, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese.

Aboriginal Languages

These languages have a unique place in Western Australia's heritage and in its cultural and educational life. They are fundamental to strengthening identity and self esteem and provide a focus for the development of intercultural understandings and reconciliation. Approximately 16 different Aboriginal languages are taught in public schools across Western Australia.

Community Languages

Community organisations play an important role as complementary languages providers through the Community Languages Program. Currently, more than 30 organisations receive funding from the Department to support the delivery of over 20 different community languages.

What are the benefits in language learning?

The benefits of language learning include the ability to communicate within and across cultures, an understanding of, and respect for, diversity and difference, an extension of literacy skills and the development of cognitive and critical thinking skills. Competence in a second language can also enhance employment and career prospects.

The Asian Century

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians reiterates the continued status of Languages in future curriculum provision, citing the particular importance of Asian Languages. The White Paper, "Australia in the Asian Century", (October 2012), states the need for Australians to build 'Asia-relevant' capabilities to raise our productivity performance and enable effective participation and contribution in the Asian century.

The Australian Curriculum: Languages

The Australian Curriculum: Languages is due for completion in 2013. It is being developed on the assumption that all students will learn a language across the Foundation to Year 8 span, and that the curriculum will provide for continued learning through to the senior secondary years. A national curriculum will provide opportunities for greater collaboration and access to quality resources across the States and Territories of Australia.

For more information about the Australian Curriculum: Languages refer to the ACARA website.

Cross curriculum perspectives in Languages

The Languages curriculum provides opportunities for learning which incorporates a range of perspectives.

Literacy and numeracy can be taught through the languages. Each language provides a unique field of knowledge which assists students to work towards achievement of outcomes in these areas.

Incorporating Aboriginal, multicultural, environmental and ICT perspectives assists students to develop values and understandings about languages and culture in a social and cultural context.

Learning in each of the languages should cater for all students, including those with SPECIAL needs. Learning experiences can be adapted to suit students' physical, intellectual, emotional and developmental needs.

Teaching Literacy in Languages in Year 7Arabic

Jump into Storyboarding: Narrative elements (links to literacy)Introduce the elements of narrative as a starting point for understanding the way that stories are structured. Click here to download the English version of the resources, changing the text in italics to the language you are teaching. The following languages are already available:
The resources could be used in Language-only lesson, or in collaboration with the classroom teacher, during literacy lessons.
If you are having trouble downloading the resources, right-click on the link and select 'Save Target As'. In the drop-down menu at the bottom, select 'Save as type: All files', then add .notebook to the end of the file name.

Curriculum K-12 resources

The Languages Unit has created IWB resources in nine Languages to support connected classrooms as well as the 42 Language Learning Centres across New South Wales. Each IWB resource has teacher's notes to show the intended outcomes.

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The Languages Unit

Curriculum advice

Our experts can offer quick and informal advice to regions, teachers and parents through phone or email about:
• current languages curriculum issues and research
• practical strategies in curriculum implementation, planning, programming and assessing
• materials and resources for teachers
• professional learning events
• tertiary institutions and universities.

Ongoing support
We can help set up and support curriculum networks by:
• developing and delivering needs-based workshops and presentations
• reviewing resources and professional learning programs
• developing curriculum support materials
• mentoring teachers and establishing teacher networks.

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Research on language acquisition/use can be divided into first and second language learning settings. The literature on first language learning is most relevant to child development while second language learning pertains primarily to adult learning, although most general theories of language learning apply to both. While it is not clear whether different psychological processes are involved in first and second language learning, there are differences in the way children and adults learn and this has important implications.

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K - 6 Educational Resources - Board of Studies, New South Wales, Australia

Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics

  • What teacher needs to know about language
  • Oral Language
  • Written Language
  • Courses Teachers need to take
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Language and Cultural Diversity
  • Language Development

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Drama: No barriers to language

Artistic Experiences Enhance The Way People

connect to the world and express their
feelings of life and sense of humanity

Second-Language Acquisition and Bilingualism at an Early Age and the Impact on Early Cognitive Development


The possibility that early bilingualism affects children’s language and cognitive
development has long been a concern for parents and educators. In the first half of the
20th century, the prevailing view was that bilingualism and second-language acquisition
early in life made children confused and interfered with their ability to develop normal
cognitive functions1 and succeed in educational environments.2

Bilingualism: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it an advantage to speak more than one language?
  • Is it true that all bilingual children start to speak later than monolingual children?
  • Should parents speak their mother tongue at home?
  • Isn’t it better for parents to speak English instead?
  • Parents often find their children refuse to speak their first language at home and insist on speaking English. What should they do about this?
  • Some parents say they are not teaching their child their family's language, because they want them to learn English first.
  • Some children tell their parents not to speak their language to them in the school playground or in public.
  • What about children who have speech problems and are seeing speech therapist? Should the parents stop speaking their first language at home and speak only English (even if their English is not very good)?
  • If a child is growing up with two languages (for example, Cantonese and English) and she sometimes uses English words when speaking Cantonese or vice versa, is she confused?

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Victoria (VIC) - LMERC

The Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) is a specialist resource centre for schools across all sectors.

LMERC has been providing services to Victorian teachers and other school staff for over twenty years. Each year up to 1000 teachers, educators and pre-service teachers borrow around 20,000 items. These include books, posters, CDs, DVDs, policy documents and realia (cultural artefacts). This service is available at no cost.

  • Library services
    Information about the range of services available to educators at LMERC
  • The collection
    The centre holds a collection of more than 30,000 resources in varied formats including books, posters, CDs, DVDs, policy documents and realia (cultural artefacts)
  • Online catalogue
    The centre’s catalogue is available online. You can search the catalogue and manage loan, register for membership, create lists, and access the centre’s wikispace
  • Resource lists
    Resource lists on various topics and useful links for educators in the areas of Multicultural Education, Languages and EAL
  • Publications for sale
    Information about the Department’s publications in the areas of Languages, EAL and Multicultural Education
  • Newsletter
    Each term LMERC staff produce a newsletter to inform teachers about new resources, book reviews, upcoming events and useful online resources
  • Statewide Resources Centre (SRC) room bookings
    LMERC is housed in the Statewide Resources Centre. The centre has three Conference Rooms which may be hired for meetings or professional development activities.


The centre collects materials in the following areas:

Location and contact details

Co As It
Level 2, 189 Faraday St,

Carlton 3053 VIC

Contact Us

Community Languages Australia

L2, 189 Faraday St,
Carlton Vic 3053

Phone: (03) 9349-2683
Fax: (03) 9349-26893