Years 9 and 10 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Learners enter this band with prior experience of Auslan. They bring a range of existing capabilities, strategies and knowledge that can be applied to new learning. This stage of learning coincides with social, physical and cognitive changes associated with adolescence. Increased cognitive maturity enables learners to work more deductively with language and culture systems, to apply more intentional learning strategies and to reflect productively on their learning. Motivation and engagement with language learning and use are influenced by peer-group dynamics, personal interests and values, and issues related to self-concept. The role of language is central to this process and is reflected in the degree to which learners define themselves as members of language communities, how they position themselves in relation to peer groups, and choices they make in relation to linguistic and social practices. These processes are fluid and context responsive and impact on learners’ engagement with both Auslan and English language learning. Learners at this level are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with youth, social and environmental issues. They are considering their future pathways and choices, including how Auslan could be part of these. They require continued guidance in learning Auslan, but are increasingly independent and capable of analysis and reflection, including in relation to Auslan and to intercultural experience.
Auslan learning and use
Learners use Auslan to compare and contrast, to sign instructions, problem-solve, make announcements, persuade, and recount experiences in increasing detail. They engage with a range of Auslan texts, and express feelings and emotions creatively in the language. They participate individually and in groups in tasks and learning experiences, explaining or justifying positions, elaborating opinions, and giving and receiving multistep instructions. They create their own signed narratives, and summarise and critically examine viewed texts.
Learners are extending their grammatical knowledge, such as understanding how language structures and features are used intentionally in texts. They use more elaborate sentence structures, including conjoining clauses, and increasingly build cohesion in their texts by setting up and maintaining referents in signing space. Learners explore metaphorical iconicity and begin to use constructed action to represent multiple characters in narratives. They are increasingly aware of connections between language and culture, comparing them to experiences in their own language(s) and culture(s). They are learning to reflect on their own language and culture and on how identity impacts on intercultural experience.
Contexts of interaction
Learners interact with teachers, peers and members of the Deaf community, in real life or via online technologies. They also encounter Auslan in the wider community, such as in the media, at film festivals or community events or via guest speakers.
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a range of increasingly complex live and digital signed texts designed for in-school learning of Auslan. They also work with different types of authentic texts created for deaf people, such as websites, which provide opportunities to extend understanding of language and culture. Texts come from a range of domains or genres, such as oral histories, community announcements, vlogs and stories; and they serve a variety of purposes, such as informative, transactional, communicative, imaginative and expressive. Learners also access texts from other signed languages that make extensive use of the ‘visual vernacular’. The Deaf community is the most important resource for learning, as it is the origin of most of the texts and communicative situations engaged with by learners.
Features of Auslan use
Learners at this stage are increasingly aware of differences between Auslan and English. They are expanding their knowledge of vocabulary and sentence construction. With support, they use constructed action to show participants in a text, modify indicating verbs for non-present referents with increasing accuracy across a text, and use more complex entity depicting signs. They are learning to use NMFs to mark manner on verbs or to express negation. They use appropriate strategies to initiate and sustain conversations, and use more elaborate sentence structures, such as embedding clauses. Learners create richer texts, switching between viewer and diagrammatic space to show different perspectives of the same event. They also develop metalanguage for describing aspects of Auslan and how it is structured. They consider connections between language and culture and make comparisons with their own language(s) and culture(s). They consider language variation, for example by experiencing other dialects in the BANZSL family. They develop understanding of the nature of translation and interpretation, noticing the relationship between language, texts and culture. A balance is maintained between activities that focus on language forms and structures and those that involve communicative tasks, performances and experiences. Task characteristics and conditions are more complex and challenging; they involve collaborative as well as independent language planning and performance, and development and strategic use of language and cultural resources.
Level of support
While learners are increasingly less reliant on the teacher for support during communicative interactions, continued support, such as provision of rich language input and modelled language use, is needed to consolidate and sustain language development. The teacher provides implicit and explicit modelling and scaffolding in relation to meaningful language use in a range of contexts, situations and learning experiences, and explicit instruction and explanation in relation to complex structures, grammatical functions and abstract concepts and vocabulary. Provision of opportunities to discuss, clarify, rehearse and apply knowledge is critical in consolidating understanding and skills and in developing autonomy. Learners are encouraged to self-monitor, for example, by keeping records of feedback, through peer support and self-review. They are increasingly aware of and responsible for their own learning, working independently to address their needs, for example by accessing technologies to memorise, learn and expand their language repertoire. They continue to use Signbank, graphic organisers, modelled texts, dictionaries and teacher feedback to interpret and create texts, and may keep records of their learning through means such as a video journal or folio to reflect on their language learning and intercultural experience.
The role of English
Learners and teachers use Auslan as the primary medium of interaction in language-oriented and an increasing number of content-oriented learning experiences. English provides a basis for linguistic and cultural comparison. English is also the medium for expressing experiences, abstract ideas and personal views at a level beyond learners’ level of Auslan, for example when justifying a position on a social issue or exploring linguistic and cultural practices. English may be used with Auslan to conduct research, for example when investigating a social issue or cultural practice if a source text in Auslan cannot be found. It is also used in translating and in communicating bilingually. Learners are supported to reflect on the different roles that English and Auslan play in their academic work and in their conceptual development.