The Languages curriculum is written on the basis that schools provide a Languages program, in at least one language, from Pre-primary to Year 10. However, where schools do not have a Languages program in place, the Authority requires schools to teach a minimum of one language, commencing with Year 3 in 2018 (4 in 2019, Year 5 in 2020, Year 6 in 2021, Year 7 in 2022, Year 8 in 2023). In Year 9 and Year 10 the study of Languages is optional.
Second Language Pathway
In the Western Australian Curriculum: Languages a pathway for second language learners has been developed as appropriate to cater for the dominant group(s) of students learning each specific language within the current Western Australian context. The Languages learning area comprises six subjects: Chinese: Second Language, French: Second Language, German: Second Language, Indonesian: Second Language, Italian: Second Language and Japanese: Second Language. Additionally, ACARA's language curriculum or an Authority-approved language curriculum are recognised by the Authority as appropriate for language education in Western Australia.
Sequences of learning
The design of the Western Australian Curriculum: Languages takes into account different entry points into language learning across Pre-primary to Year 10, which reflects current practice in Languages. For the six second Language subjects, there are two learning sequences:
- Pre-primary – Year 10 sequence
- Year 7 – Year 10 sequence.
The content of the Western Australian Curriculum: Languages is organised into two interrelated strands: Communicating and Understanding. Together, these strands reflect three important aspects of language learning: performance of communication, analysing various aspects of language and culture involved in communication and understanding oneself as a communicator.
Within each strand, a set of sub-strands has been identified, which reflects dimensions of language use and the related content to be taught and learned. The strands and sub-strands do not operate in isolation but are integrated in relation to language use for different purposes in different contexts. The relative contribution of each strand will differ for different languages and for different stages of learning.
The Communicating strand focuses on students learning to use the target language to interpret, create and exchange meaning and to use the language to communicate in different contexts. It involves learning to use the target language for a variety of purposes.
The content focuses on interacting orally and in writing to exchange, ideas, opinions, experiences, thoughts and feelings; and participating in planning, negotiating, deciding and taking action.
The content develops skills to obtain, process, interpret and convey information through a range of oral, written and multimodal texts; and developing and applying knowledge.
The content focuses on students engaging with imaginative experience by participating in, responding to and creating a range of texts, such as stories, songs, drama and music.
The content focuses on developing the skills to move between languages and cultures orally and in writing, recognising different interpretations and explaining these to others.
The content focuses on providing opportunities for students to participate in intercultural exchange, questioning reactions and assumptions; and considering how interaction shapes communication and identity.
The Communicating strand involves various combinations of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills:
- interacting and interpreting meaning (spoken and written reception)
- interacting and creating meaning (spoken and written production)
and incorporates diverse text types and task types.
The Understanding strand focuses on students analysing and understanding language and culture as resources for interpreting and shaping meaning in intercultural exchange.
- Systems of language
The content focuses on students developing the understanding of language as a system, including sound, writing, grammatical and textual conventions.
- Language variation and change
The content focuses on students developing the understanding of how languages vary in use (register, style, standard and non-standard varieties) and change over time and place.
- The role of language and culture
The content focuses on students analysing and understanding the role of language and culture in the exchange of meaning.
Year level descriptions
Year level descriptions provide an overview of the key concepts addressed, along with core content being studied at that year level. They also emphasise the interrelated nature of the two strands and the expectation that planning will involve integration of content from across the strands.
Content descriptions set out the knowledge, understanding and skills that teachers are expected to teach and students are expected to learn. They do not prescribe approaches to teaching. The core content has been written to ensure that learning is appropriately ordered and that unnecessary repetition is avoided. However, a concept or skill introduced at one year level may be revisited, strengthened and extended at later year levels as needed.
Additional content descriptions are available for teachers to incorporate in their teaching programs. Schools will determine the inclusion of additional content, taking into account learning area time allocation and school priorities.
The additional content will not be reflected in the Achievement Standard.
From Pre-primary to Year 10, achievement standards indicate the quality of learning that students should typically demonstrate by a particular point in their schooling. An achievement standard describes the quality of learning (e.g. the depth of conceptual understanding and the sophistication of skills) that would indicate the student is well-placed to commence the learning required at the next level of achievement.
A glossary is provided to support a common understanding of the key terms and concepts included in the core content.