Australian Curriculum Review – the process
In preparing for the Review, ACARA:
- considered the latest research and international developments; and
- consulted with practising teachers, curriculum experts, key academics and professional associations.
We formed the Languages Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group to provide advice and feedback, with members nominated by state and territory education authorities and non-government sectors.
We also wanted a specific focus on primary schools, so we created the Primary (F–6) Curriculum Reference Group and Teacher Reference Group. These groups helped give advice and feedback on how we could improve the curriculum for our youngest students.
From this research, teacher feedback and our work with the reference groups, we identified some key areas where the Languages Curriculum could be improved.
How to have your say
Provide your feedback through our survey, which will ask you to respond to statements about the revised curriculum. You can see a copy of the survey questions before you begin to give your feedback.
For further information on the survey, including how to save and return to it, refer to the survey information sheet.
The consultation version of the Australian Curriculum: Languages includes the following key changes:
- There is better alignment among Languages, while recognising individual differences of each curriculum.
- Key ideas have been replaced with core concepts that underpin all Languages curriculum.
- New Foundation year content has been developed to better support learning in the early years.
- The number of sub-strands has been reduced and sub-strands refined to more clearly show interrelationships among the content of sub-strands.
- Content descriptions have been reduced in volume and refined to provide greater clarity to teachers about what to teach.
- Achievement standards now more closely align with the content descriptions.
- Cognitive alignment has been strengthened between content descriptions and achievement standards.
- Content elaborations have been improved to show suggestions for authentic and meaningful alignment with general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities.
The Australian Curriculum: Languages has begun to be updated, starting with the first four languages: Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese.
Updating the Languages curriculum provides opportunities for greater alignment among Languages’ curricula, the removal of unnecessary duplication of content and the addition of an emphasis on knowledge, understandings and skills that target communicative competence.
Unnecessary and non-essential content has been removed and content has been refined to give teachers clarity and guidance about what they are expected to teach.
Why have the sub-strands translating and reflecting been removed from the Australian Curriculum: Languages?
The current eight sub-strands have been reduced to five to remove overlap and duplication of content across the sub-strands. Translating and reflecting are both represented in content descriptions across the strands and sub-strands.
Language-specific content is in content descriptions and examples and suggestions of language are in content elaborations. A new support resource is being developed for each curriculum to represent a developmental progression of language grammar and language features from beginner to advanced levels as a guide for teachers.
An important change in Languages is the identification of content for the Foundation year, separate from Years 1–2. This provides a clear set of expectations for the Foundation year and allows for improved alignment of content across all learning areas in Foundation.
To provide a more manageable approach to Languages in Foundation, there are three content descriptions that are aligned, but not explicitly linked to the strands and sub-strands. The three content descriptions provide a clear set of expectations for the Foundation year and the flexibility for teachers to develop a program that meets the needs of their individual teaching contexts.
The first four languages to be reviewed are Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese, second language pathway. The remaining languages curricula will be reviewed by the end of 2023.