The Western Australian Curriculum: Languages enables all students to communicate proficiently in a language other than English by providing students with essential communication skills in that language, an intercultural capability, and an understanding of the role of language and culture in human communication.
Language learning broadens students’ horizons to include the personal, social, and employment opportunities that an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world presents. The interdependence of countries means that people in all spheres of life have to be able to negotiate experiences and meanings across languages and cultures. It has also brought the realisation that, despite its status as a world language, a capability only in English is not sufficient, and a bilingual or plurilingual capability is the norm in most parts of the world.
The Western Australian Curriculum: Languages operates from the fundamental principle that for all students, learning to communicate in two or more languages is a rich and challenging experience of engaging with and participating in the linguistic and cultural diversity of our interconnected world. The curriculum builds upon students’ intercultural understanding and sense of identity as they are encouraged to explore and recognise their own linguistic, social, and cultural practices and identities as well as those associated with speakers of the language being learnt.
In the Western Australian Curriculum, 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, for the purposes of Languages education in Western Australia:
- the study of an Aboriginal Language is appropriate
- students who speak English as a second language or as an additional language or dialect, and whose use of Standard Australian English is restricted, may substitute further studies in English for the study of another language
- recently arrived migrants, for whom English is not their first language, may substitute English as a Second Language or further studies in English for the study of another language
- schools may offer a language other than those for which syllabuses are provided by the Authority using ACARA's curriculum or a language curriculum approved by the Authority.