The Australian Curriculum: Languages is designed to enable all students to engage in learning a language in addition to English. There are 14 individual Languages curricula in the Australian Curriculum. The review has so far proposed revisions to the second language pathways for F-10 and Years 7-10 in Chinese, French, Italian and Japanese. The other Languages subjects and pathways will follow in stages and be completed by 2023. It is expected the review of the first four languages will provide a framework for the revision of the other languages curricula.

The need for flexibility of language content to cater for different entry points into a language program, particularly in the F–10 sequence, has been a key consideration in the Review. In addition, the perceived unrealistic volume and the focus of content for the amount of teaching and learning time available in schools have been addressed. The Review has focussed on a number of opportunities for improvement, in particular, greater consistency and coherence across Languages, along with a reduction in volume, duplication and repetition of content.

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.

Download the Languages Consultation Curriculum

To give feedback, you need a copy of the proposed Australian Curriculum, which is available in three formats:

  • all elements
    • introductory information - includes the rationale, aims, organisation of the learning area, key connections and key considerations
    • curriculum content for all levels which includes year/band level descriptions, achievement standards, content descriptions and elaborations
  • scope and sequence - with achievement standards and content descriptions only
  • comparative information - showing the current and proposed revisions to content descriptions and achievement standards only.
You can access the primary level scope and sequence charts that combine all the learning areas and are presented by year level

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.

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.