Years 7 to 10 Band Description
The nature of the learner, the pathway and particular language
Languages studied in the First Language Learner Pathway (L1) are typically used in spoken form as the language of everyday communication by whole communities across all generations.
Typically, but not exclusively, L1 programs will occur on Country/Place and will have constant involvement from a variety of speakers from the community. A key expectation in the L1 pathway is that of students having opportunities to interact with Elders and particular places on Country/Place.
Learners are typically Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children who have learnt the language from their families as a first language and continue to use it naturally at home and in social situations. Students may have varying skills in other languages, including varieties of English.
The curriculum content and achievement standards in the First Language Learner Pathway are generalised in order to cater for the range of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages that may be learnt as a first language. They will need to be adapted when developing language-specific curricula, and will need to be modified for programs occuring off-Country.
At this level, students bring a range of learning strategies to their language learning. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with broader issues of youth and society, land and environment, education and identity, while establishing a balance between increasing personal independence and social responsibilities. They are considering their future pathways and choices, including how their own language could be part of these.
Language learning and use
Learners work collaboratively and independently, exploring different modes and genres of communication, with particular reference to their current social, cultural and communicative interests. They pool language knowledge and resources to plan, problem-solve, monitor and reflect. They create and present more complex and varied texts, for example, shared stories, songs/raps, blogs, reports and journal entries, and plan, draft and present imaginative and informative texts. They use vocabulary and grammar with increasing accuracy and complexity, drafting and editing written work to improve structure and to clarify meaning.
Learners continue to expand their vocabulary to domains beyond their personal experience and interests. They use a range of grammatical structures and language features to convey more complex ideas and experiences. They use descriptive and expressive language to create particular effects and to engage interest. They make connections between texts and cultural contexts, identifying how cultural values and perspectives are embedded in language and how language choices influence how people, issues and circumstances are represented. They are increasingly aware of the nature of the relationship between languages and cultures, noticing how family, community values and behaviours, such as familiarity, mutual obligation, reciprocity, respect, caring for Country/Place, are conveyed in the language.
Contexts of interaction
Learning occurs largely through interaction with peers and the teaching team, while additional enrichment and authentication of the learning experience is provided through access to Elders and other speakers living in the community. Interacting with Country/Place to explore the environment and learn about Country/Place with Elders and other community members is essential to the learning of students at all stages.
Elders and community members may teach about gender-differentiated roles as encapsulated in language, working separately with male and female students as appropriate.
Students may also have some access to speakers in other regions through digital technologies and may have opportunities to participate in school excursions or camps.
Texts and resources
Country/Place and the community are the most important resources for learning. They are the origin of most of the texts and communicative situations that learners engage with.
Learners interact with a broad range of spoken, visual, written and digital texts, such as photographs, maps, oral histories, community texts such as posters from health clinics, community notices, songs, raps, dances, stories, painting and visual design, music, video clips and films.
They may also have access to community facilities and functions, such as the health clinic, art centre, coast patrol, local interpretative centre, community interpreters, and the office of the park ranger or land council.
Level of support
While learners at this level are less reliant on teacher support during interactions, continued provision of rich language input and modelled language are needed to consolidate and sustain their learning of the language in its extended spoken and written forms. The teacher provides both implicit and explicit modelling and scaffolding in relation to meaningful language use in a range of contexts, and explicit instruction and explanation in relation to language structures, grammatical functions, vocabulary and abstract cultural concepts. Opportunities for learners to discuss, clarify, rehearse and apply their knowledge are critical in consolidating language capabilities and in developing autonomy. Learners are encouraged to self-monitor, for example, by keeping records of feedback and through peer support, and to self-review and adjust language in response to their experiences in different contexts.
The role of languages
The language of study is the medium of instruction in First Language Learner Pathway classrooms. Other known languages play a complementary role, for example, when translating and creating bilingual/multilingual texts, and when comparing and contrasting writing systems, language structures, and language features and usage.