In NSW high schools, languages is a key learning area.
Language study allows students to develop communication skills, learn about languages as systems and explore the relationship between language and culture. Students engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of societies and reflect on their understanding of social interactions.
Increasing global connectedness means that being able to communicate across cultural boundaries is a skill that is more important than ever.
Students may benefit from learning additional language(s) by:
- being able to positively transfer literacy skills between languages, as they learn about grammatical structures and broaden their vocabulary
- improving listening skills, higher order thinking skills, knowledge retention and general mental flexibility developing more open and curious attitudes to other cultures.
The study of a language is compulsory for 100 hours in one continuous school year from Year 7 to Year 10, but preferably in Years 7 or 8.
In Years 11 and 12, NSW schools offer a wide variety of languages, catering for beginning students to background speakers.
Modern Greek, Italian, French, Japanese Beginner
Beginners’ language courses are designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of the language.
Students have had no more than 100 hours’ study of the language at the secondary level (or equivalent).
The aim of the Stage 6 Beginners language courses is to enable students to develop:
- skills in effective communication
- knowledge of the nature of language understanding of the interdependence of language and culture.
Modern Greek, Italian, Japanese Continuers
Continuers language courses are designed for students who have studied the language in Stage 5. (For European language Continuers course, students may have a background in the language.)
These courses are targeted for students who are learning the language as an additional language. Typically, the students will have studied the language for 200-400 hours before starting the Stage 6 Continuers course. Some students with less formal experience, such as students with a background in the language, may also be able to undertake the course, subject to eligibility determination and dependent on the language.
Chinese in Literature
There are two Chinese language courses on offer which have eligibility rules:
Chinese in Context for heritage students
Most students undertaking these courses will come from homes where the language is used, and will have a connection to the culture. Typically, they have some understanding and knowledge of the language, although their spoken language is generally much stronger than their written language skills. These students will have most likely completed the majority of their schooling in English.
Chinese and Literature for students with a background in the language
The Chinese and Literature courses are designed for students with a cultural and linguistic background in the language – students who are first-language speakers, and/or who have completed a significant part of their formal education in the target language.
Modern Greek Extension
This course is targeted for students who are learning the language as an additional language. Typically, the students will have studied the language for 200-400 hours before starting the Stage 6 Continuers course. Extension course may only be studied concurrently with, or after completing, the HSC 2-unit Modern Greek Continuers course in the same language.
Modern Greek Extension course – is a challenging course for students and who seek a high degree of language competence