Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages

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Rationale

Nganki - ka Kardu thipmam - wa! I Murrinh warda ngatha. The nganthin ngumpanngerren. I ku ngakumarl, da ngarra ngugumingki wurran. The da matha nganthin ngala i da bere matha wangu ngumamath ngumpan ngarra magulkul nganki.

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Aims

The Australian Curriculum: Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to ensure that students:

communicate in the language

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What is the Framework?

The Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages (the Framework) is the first national curriculum document Foundation to Year 10 to provide a way forward for all schools in Australia to support the teaching and learning of the languages indigenous to this country.

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Guiding principles

Appropriate consultations with relevant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities are always central to the development of language-specific curricula and the provision of language learning programs in schools.

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Structure

Pathways
To cater for differences between the ecologies of languages and the communities who are owners and custodians of those languages, and to cater for students who come from a variety of learner backgrounds, the Framework has three pathways:

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Using the Framework

The Framework is general in its structure and approach because it needs to be applicable to all Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia, across the full range of language ecologies.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Languages -  Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages are available as PDF documents.
Scope and Sequence 
Sequence of Achievement - First Language …

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The Language Revival Learner Pathway (LR) provides opportunities for students to study Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages that are being revived by their owners or custodians and are in various stages of revitalisation, renewal and reclamation.

The LR category covers a much broader range of language types and ecologies than either L1 or L2, and the vast majority of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages are included in the LR category.

Schools teaching the Language Revival Learner Pathway (LR) will most likely be located broadly within the region of the target language and culture, sometimes in towns and cities, and other times in rural and remote regions. Classes will likely include students who relate closely to the language and culture, as well as students with varying degrees of affiliation with the language and culture, including some who have no connections to either the language or the culture. A key expectation in the LR pathway is that of students having opportunities to interact with Elders and particular places on Country/Place.

The Language Revival Learner Pathway draws on the Australian Indigenous Languages Framework (AILF) and takes into account key variables such as: how much is known and documented of the language; the extent to which it is used or remembered, ranging from no longer being spoken (owners often use the term ‘sleeping’) to being spoken fluently by members of the older generations; and the extent to which it has been reintroduced into the community of owners and custodians.

These variables give rise to the following broad categories of language revival:

  • Language Revitalisation: where there are fluent L1 speakers (typically members of the older generation) but where intergenerational transmission of the language has been interrupted. Younger generations may understand some of the language and may use some words and phrases, but do not speak it as their first language. Examples of revitalisation languages include Walmajarri in the Kimberley, Yindjibarndi in the Pilbara, Meriam in the Torres Strait, Dyirbal in north-eastern Queensland, Wubuy (Nunggubuyu) in Arnhem Land, and Adnyamathanha (Yura Ngawarla) in the Flinders Ranges. .
  • Language Renewal: where there are a number of adult speakers who use the language to varying degrees in the community, but not ‘right through’, and where there are other language resources to draw upon. Examples of languages being renewed include Noongar in south-west Western Australia, Gumbaynggirr on the north coast of New South Wales, Ngarrindjeri on the Lower Murray Lakes in South Australia, Djabugay in the Atherton Tablelands in northern Queensland, and Yugambeh in southern Queensland.
  • Language Reclamation: where language revival, by necessity, relies primarily on historical documentation of the language in the absence of active community knowledge of it. Examples of reclamation languages include Kaurna from Adelaide, Narungga from the Yorke Peninsula, Dharuk or Eora (Iyora) from Sydney, Yuwibara from central Queensland, Wemba-Wemba and Woiwurrung from Victoria, and Awabakal from the Newcastle area in New South Wales,

A number of factors and variables will need to be considered when developing a language revival curriculum, including:

What is known and documented about the language:

Many languages may only be known from wordlists, which are typically of widely varying quality. Some may have sketchy grammars. Others may have recorded texts from which some grammar may be extracted. Others, which have slipped from everyday use, may have audio and film resources. In the case of poorly documented languages, where speakers no longer exist and sound or film resources were never made, there will be many gaps to fill. Source materials will need to be interpreted through comparison with each other and with closely related languages, if documentation of these languages exists.

Where there are still speakers of the revival language, fewer gaps will need to be filled and fewer assumptions will need to be made. The remaining speakers of the language will be the arbiters of what is correct or not. In such cases, it is not unusual to have widely differing opinions about what is right, which may simply reflect underlying dialect differences or processes of language change. Where a language is only known from written, historical records, there will be more need for interpretation and the support of historical and comparative linguistics in rebuilding the language, with the understanding that the revived language will most likely never precisely match the original language in structure, vocabulary or usage.

The extent to which the language is used or remembered

Revival languages also differ in the extent to which they have been re-introduced into the community of owners and custodians, for example:

  • the range of functions for which the language is now used (for example, private conversations, written communication, digital messaging, social media)
  • the extent of its use in the public domain (for example, public speeches, Welcomes to Country, Acknowledgements of Country, naming of public entities and institutions)
  • its use in educational programs (for example, at school or post-school level, in community schools, involving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people)
  • the degree of development of contemporary resources (for example, alphabet books, dictionaries, grammars, learner’s guides, readers, animations, radio shows, television shows, websites with online language lessons, phone apps).

Some languages have only just begun their journey of revival, while others have advanced to a point where initial generations of new first language speakers are emerging, as parents use the revived languages with their children.

For languages with limited documentation, English or another community language might be used in school programs in a complementary fashion, for example, to fill in for missing words or expressions. Alternatively, language owners and the community in general may decide to sidestep these gaps altogether, avoiding the use of English or other languages entirely.

Implications for developing language specific curricula and language programs

The curriculum content and achievement standards in the Language Revival Learner Pathway are generalised in order to cater for the range of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages that may be learnt within this pathway.

The Language Revival Learner Pathway is pitched approximately at middle-of-the-range revival languages; that is, those languages which no longer have fluent first language speakers but have sufficient resources, including a grammar and dictionary, to enable a comprehensive, cumulative, rigorous and meaningful teaching program to be developed. Where there are major gaps in knowledge or documentation relating to a particular language consideration needs to be given as to how far the curriculum content and achievement standards can be realised and sustained for long-term, cumulative learning. An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural studies program may be the better option under circumstances of severe constraint.

Many programs will use the LR pathway for languages that have few, if any, speakers or associated language community. It is conceivable, however, that over time a language functioning well in revival mode could develop a sufficiently substantial speech community across all generations for it to be taught and learned in either the L1 or L2 pathway. Until a revival language achieves this critical mass, however, the recommended language learning pathway remains LR.

The content descriptions, content elaborations and achievement standards for the Language Revival Learner Pathway will need to be adapted when developing language-specific curricula.

Language-specific curriculum development for languages that are being revived, still have first languages speakers, are regaining fluent speakers, or have substantial resources, could consider incorporating some aspects of the content and achievement standards from the First Language Learner or Second Language Learner pathways; or using the L2 pathway as a base for curriculum development. In these instances content descriptions, elaborations and achievement standards will need to be adapted and modified to ensure that the curriculum is appropriately pitched and reflective of the nature of the language, the nature of the learners and the context of learning.

Summary of Key Features of the Language Revival Learner Pathway

Language Revival Learner Pathway

Languages being revived by their owners and in various stages of revitalisation, renewal and reclamation

Language learners who relate closely to the language and culture, as well as learners with varying degrees of connection to the language and culture and some with no connections

Curriculum written on the assumption that LR programs will typically occur broadly within the geographical region of the language and culture

Curriculum pitched approximately at middle-of-the-range revival languages

Years 3 to 6

Years 3 to 6 Band Description

The nature of the learner, the pathway and particular language

The Language Revival Learner Pathway (LR) provides opportunities for students to study Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages being revived by their owners or custodians and which are in various stages of revitalisation, renewal and reclamation.

LR covers a much broader range of language types and ecologies than either L1 or L2, and the vast majority of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages are included in the LR category.

Schools teaching the Language Revival Learner Pathway (LR) will most likely be located broadly within the geographical region of the language and culture, sometimes in towns and cities, at other times in rural and remote regions. Classes will likely include students who relate closely to the language and culture, students with varying degrees of affiliation with the language and culture, and students who have no connections to either the language or culture. A key expectation in the LR pathway is that of students having opportunities to interact with Elders and particular places on Country/Place.

The Language Revival Learner Pathway draws on the Australian Indigenous Languages Framework (AILF) and takes into account key variables such as: how much is known about and documented for the language; the extent to which it is used or remembered, ranging from no longer being spoken (owners often use the term ‘sleeping’) to being spoken fluently by members of the older generations; and the extent to which the language has been reintroduced into the community of owners and custodians.

These variables give rise to the following broad categories of language revival:

  • Language Revitalisation: where there are fluent L1 speakers (typically members of the older generation) but the intergenerational transmission of the language has been interrupted. Younger generations may understand some of the language and may use some words and phrases but do not speak it as their first language. Examples of revitalisation languages include Walmajarri in the Kimberley, Yindjibarndi in the Pilbara, Meriam in the Torres Strait, Dyirbal in north-eastern Queensland, Wubuy (Nunggubuyu) in Arnhem Land, and Adnyamathanha (Yura Ngawarla) in the Flinders Ranges.
  • Language Renewal: where there are a number of adult speakers who use the language to varying degrees in the community, but not ‘right through’, and where other language resources are drawn upon. Examples of languages being renewed include Noongar in south-west Western Australia, Gumbaynggirr on the north coast of New South Wales, Ngarrindjeri on the Lower Murray Lakes in South Australia, Djabugay in the Atherton Tablelands in northern Queensland, and Yugambeh in southern Queensland.
  • Language Reclamation: where language revival, by necessity, relies primarily on historical documentation of the language in the absence of active community knowledge of it. Examples of reclamation languages include Kaurna from Adelaide, Narungga from the Yorke Peninsula, Dharuk or Eora (Iyora) from Sydney, Yuwibara from central Queensland, Wemba-Wemba and Woiwurrung from Victoria, and Awabakal from the Newcastle area in New South Wales.

A number of factors and variables will need to be considered when planning for a language revival curriculum or program, and further information on these is presented in the context statement for this pathway and in the section Using the Framework.

At this level children are developing awareness of their social worlds and of their membership of various groups. They are widening their social networks, experiences, and communicative repertoires, and gaining greater awareness of the world around them. They benefit from varied activity-based learning that builds on their interests and capabilities and makes connections with other learning areas.

Language learning and use

Learners interact with peers, the teaching team, Elders and community members in a variety of learning experiences and activities, using as much language as possible and incorporating sign language as appropriate. Learners use formulaic phrases to participate in classroom routines, presentations and structured conversations. They respond to teacher-generated questions about texts, participate in games, and follow instructions and procedures.

They focus on aspects of their personal worlds and are introduced to content related to the Country/Place and language community.

The development of oral proficiency relies on rich language input. Learners engage in a lot of listening, developing active-listening and comprehension skills by using contextual, grammatical, phonic and non-verbal cues. They extend their oral fluency by focusing on sentence-level intonation and stress, including elements of sign language as appropriate.

Learners participate in shared and guided reading and learn to apply their knowledge of key words and textual features to predict the meaning of unfamiliar language. They use modelled language to create new texts. They require opportunities to extend their language use, for example, by connecting sentences and expanding vocabulary, to the extent made possible by the resources available in the revival language.

Learners are expanding their knowledge of vocabulary and sentence construction. They develop metalanguage for describing additional aspects of the target language and exploring how it works.

Contexts of interaction

Learning occurs largely through interaction with peers and the teaching team, with additional enrichment and authentication of the learning experience provided through access to Elders and other speakers living in the same community. Interacting with Country/Place to explore the environment and learn about Country/Place with Elders and other community members is essential to learning the language. Students may also have access to community centres, such as interpretative museums or art and language centres.

Texts and resources

Country/Place and the community are the most important resources for learning and are the origin of most of the texts children engage with.

Learners interact with a growing range of spoken, visual, written and digital texts that use as much language as possible. These include historical documents, photographs, maps, songs, raps, performance, stories, local environmental and social programs, painting and visual design. Additional teacher-generated materials include games and items from the community and local environment. Some texts will include the use of English or another community language in a complementary role, for example by filling in for items or expressions that have not yet been reconstituted in the language. Other texts will be bilingual, without mixing languages.

Level of support

The primary source of support for learners is the teaching team, who provide instruction, explanation, examples, modelled language use, repetition, reinforcement, and feedback on student work. Tasks and activities are carefully scaffolded and resourced, with sufficient time allowed for experimentation, drafting and redrafting. Learners are provided with opportunities for practice and with guidance in using dictionaries, word charts, vocabulary lists and historical documents.

The role of languages

Learners are encouraged to use the language whenever and to the extent possible in class interactions and daily routines with the teaching team, Elders and community members. Maximal use of the language will increase learners’ development of language proficiency and enhance the process of language revival.

English and other known languages are used for explanation and discussion, allowing learners to talk about differences and similarities they notice between the language and their first language(s) and culture(s), to ask questions about language and culture, to consider how they feel when they hear or use the language, and to talk about how they view different languages and the people who speak them. This introduction to the ‘meta’ dimension of intercultural learning develops the ability to consider different perspectives and ways of being as mediated by language.

For those revival languages that are at the ‘beginning’ end of the revival spectrum, English or another community language might be used in a complementary fashion, for example, to fill in for missing words or expressions. Alternatively, language owners and the community in general may decide to side-step these gaps altogether, thus avoiding the need to use other languages.


Years 3 to 6 Content Descriptions

Socialising

Interact with peers, the teaching team and visiting Elders/community members about aspects of personal worlds, such as experiences at school, home, everyday routines, interests and activities

[Key concepts: relationship, kinship, family, experience; Key Processes: describing, sharing, responding, recounting] (ACLFWC152 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • describing self in relation to daily routines, family and friends, pastimes and aspects of school and home life
  • sharing and reflecting on learning experiences, such as visits, meetings, school and community activities with class members, using gestures, illustrations and graphics to support commentary
  • recounting specific events or experiences, using familiar and modelled language
  • asking and responding to questions to identify/describe features of people, plants, animals and items in the environment, for example, by referring to colour, size, number, location
  • talking about aspects of their personal worlds, such as interests and leisure activities
  • describing other people, such as family members, friends and teachers, for example, by identifying their kin relationship
  • showing interest in and respect for others, for example, by expressing praise or encouragement
  • expressing personal experiences and future plans, using modelled sentence patterns
Participate in guided tasks that involve following instructions, making things, cooperating with peers, planning for and conducting shared events, activities or school performances

[Key concepts: collaboration, planning, performance; Key processes: compiling, planning, rehearsing, making] (ACLFWC153 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • participating in excursions with Elders and community members to experience story places or keeping places, listening to associated stories
  • visiting community centres, art centres or language centres and recording the experiences, for example, by developing a digital presentation or photo-story
  • working with Elders/community members to develop a short ‘Welcome to Country/Place’ and/or ‘Acknowledgment of Country/Place’ to use at formal school functions or community events
  • working together on collaborative tasks, such as designing posters, menus or invitations for special events, designing class bush tucker or a garden, creating picture books for buddy classes
  • interacting with Elders/community speakers, following instructions, for example when making an artefact, creating an art work or preparing bush tucker, using hand signs as appropriate
  • participating in and sharing responses to local cultural events and celebrations
  • participating in national celebrations and significant events, for example, NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, Harmony Day, labelling and captioning photos for a class display and sharing responses through class discussion
  • creating a skit, performance or action game to introduce a buddy class to aspects of the language and associated culture, for example, individual words, gestures or expressions associated with common exchanges such as introductions, items and artefacts
  • engaging in shared tasks which involve planning and collaborating, for example, preparing, rehearsing and conducting public presentations and performances, such as an item for a school assembly or a digital presentation about a significant event
  • giving directions, for example, to guide others to specific locations
Participate in everyday classroom activities and routines, such as responding to questions and requests, asking permission, requesting help

[Key concepts: routine, interaction; Key processes: responding, contributing, enquiring] (ACLFWC154 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • using rehearsed phrases and sentences to initiate and respond to language used in familiar classroom routines and exchanges, such as requesting a drink, asking permission to leave the classroom, borrowing equipment using rehearsed phrases and sentences
  • recognising and rehearsing interjections or fillers used in everyday conversations
  • asking simple questions and responding with simple statements, for example, asking for help, providing repetition or clarification
  • enquiring about and describing the location of classroom items and materials
  • preparing and displaying a set of agreed classroom procedures
  • participating in class activities that involve vocabulary, actions, signed expression or board/digital games

Informing

Gather, record and classify information from a range of sources from Country/Place, historical documents and contemporary resources

[Key concepts: community life, leisure, environment, Indigenous knowledge, health, well-being; Key processes: identifying researching, compiling, presenting, tabulating, categorising, giving directions] (ACLFWC155 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • finding out the origins of Indigenous names, for example, of streets, city parks, rivers, public institutions, social programs in their area
  • labelling, ordering and classifying natural objects from the environment according to Indigenous taxonomies
  • obtaining information from a variety of sources about the natural environment, for example, by listening to visiting Elder/community members, reading, viewing, consulting historical resources and photos, and presenting findings in chart, poster, table, graphic or digital form
  • reading, viewing or listening to simple texts such as posters, signs, historical documents, word lists, answering questions by selecting from options and filling in gaps
  • viewing a demonstration, for example, of cooking bush tucker, cooking in an earth oven, and recording key words/phrases related to processes associated with the collection and preparation of food
  • surveying peers and community members on different topics, for example, favourite television programs, video games, foods, football teams, sports or bands, after school activities/time spent in those activities, languages spoken; and presenting results in chart, graph or digital formats
  • labelling, drawing and matching inside and outside body parts
  • observing and reading signs of Country/Place with the guidance of Elders/community speakers, for example, the presence of bees, dragonflies, changing colours of bark, different tracks, tides, seaweed dumps, regeneration of vegetation, special (warning) calls of birds, turtle mating, ripening of fruit, changes in the night sky; and recording these details through photos, pictures, diagrams, captions, simple descriptions and commentaries
  • classifying different types of plants/parts of plants and their uses, for example, what different parts are used for or which are poisonous, presenting findings in chart, poster, table, graphic or digital form
  • mapping Country/Place in various forms, for example, on paper, in sand or mud, labelling key topographical features and infrastructure and making simple statements about their locations in relation to other places, for example, east, west, near, far, other side of…
  • investigating and discussing where appropriate the meaning of personal and family names of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin
  • surveying and comparing healthy ways of eating, for example, by identifying what is available from the school canteen and listing which healthy foods they like to eat, recording and presenting results in chart, graph or digital format or by giving an oral presentation
Convey information on specific topics using formats such as oral or digital presentations, displays, diagrams

[Key concepts: Country/Place, community life; Key processes: creating, presenting, profiling] (ACLFWC156 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • talking about Country/Place, using a range of location and direction terms
  • presenting information about events and activities in Country/Place through spoken, print and digital forms
  • creating a profile of a prominent community figure, for example, a sports personality, community leader/negotiator/spokesperson, a musician or artist
  • organising and presenting information relating to language and culture, for example different expressions of storying, art or dance, using simple sentence structures, familiar vocabulary and concrete materials
  • creating a video clip that incorporates captions and commentary to demonstrate procedures for activities such as preparing and cooking bush tucker, making tools, decorating artefacts, playing a favourite computer game, sport or playground game
  • creating texts such as flyers, posters or posts on the school website to advertise an upcoming event

Creating

Listen to, read and view different real and imaginative texts, identifying and making simple statements about key elements, characters and events, and interpreting cultural expressions and behaviours

[Key concepts: visual design, representation, journey; Key processes: participating, describing, predicting, recalling, responding, listening, shared/guided reading; Key text types: songs, dances, stories, paintings and visual design, video clips] (ACLFWC157 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • recalling, illustrating and describing main characters and events in stories, songs and performances, for example, by selecting descriptive modelled statements as captions to their pictures or responding to questions, such as, Who? Where? How long? What?
  • participating in shared and guided reading/listening/viewing of real and imaginative texts, for example by making predictions about the development or flow of ideas, using contextual and visual cues, responding to questions and comparing responses to different characters, ideas and events
  • conveying understanding of plot and sequence in texts, for example, by re-creating a sequence using a storyboard, labelling key events or creating a timeline
  • mapping sites, landforms and other features of Country/Place through which a travelling story/storyline passes
  • listening to Elders/community members tell stories on Country/Place, interpreting hand signs and gestures, retelling parts of the story, for example, in sand, through painting or by performing, using a combination of words/phrases, illustrations, movements and visual props
  • listening to Elders/community members telling stories from their local area, and responding by retelling parts of the story
  • interacting/engaging with artistic expression/techniques appropriate to Country/Place, such as paintings, drawings, etchings, sculptures and dance, interpreting messages conveyed through these different forms
  • discussing key messages expressed in stories, songs and dance, such as social values and rules for living, comparing them to messages conveyed by stories in other cultures and languages
  • responding to a specific creative text by adapting the original to create a new version, for example, by re-sequencing events, adding new elements, changing time, location or character, or creating an alternative ending
  • understanding and discussing the importance of story/ storytelling in transmitting and maintaining language and culture
Create and present real and imaginative texts suitable for a particular audience, using familiar expressions and modelled language

[Key concepts: imagination, entertainment, audience; Key processes: imagining, creating, experimenting, performing, storytelling; Key text types: raps, songs, dramatic performances, digital texts, video clips, skits, paintings and visual design] (ACLFWC158 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • creating and performing their own stories, songs and skits, incorporating non-verbal elements to enhance audience comprehension and entertainment, for example, gesture, facial and vocal expression
  • experimenting with different ways of telling stories, using a range of different texts, for example, oral texts, photo stories, e-books, dance, visual design, drawings on soft and hard surfaces
  • creating, performing and presenting imaginative texts such as skits, songs and raps, using digital techniques
  • creating real or imaginary characters, places or animals and presenting them through performance, digital display or visual representation
  • incorporating onomatopoeic sounds into written/performed texts to enrich the texts and to entertain readers/the audience
  • creating imaginative texts to entertain younger audiences, for example, audio Big Books, puppet plays, performances for the school or community, cartoons, video clips, vokis or animation, selecting language and images that enrich the visual or listening experience
  • creating shared art work (visual or performative) to tell a story, using symbols and expressive techniques appropriate to Country/Place

Translating

Translate simple texts from the language to English and vice versa, identifying elements which require interpretation rather than translation and involve cultural references

[Key concepts: equivalence, meaning, translation; Key processes: translating, predicting, selecting, comparing] (ACLFWC159 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • using visual or print dictionaries, word lists and pictures to translate simple familiar texts such as labels, signs, captions, charts, posters, applying knowledge of grammatical rules and context, for example, by locating word stems or by removing affixes
  • translating texts, identifying culture-specific concepts and expressions that do not easily translate into English, for example, language related to artefacts, place names, landforms, kinship relations
  • explaining to others culture-specific words that do not easily translate, such as language associated with artefacts, implements and kinship terms of address
  • identifying words and phrases that have more than one literal meaning
  • explaining the meaning of art works and performances to others, including the use of symbolism
Create bilingual texts for the classroom and the school community, such as songs, picture dictionaries, captions for images and displays, photo stories

[Key concepts: bilingualism, expression; Key processes: performing, describing, code-mixing, captioning] (ACLFWC160 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • creating bilingual wall charts or picture dictionaries with captions and simple descriptions in English to explain language words and related cultural ideas
  • performing bilingual versions of familiar songs, for example by alternating lines/verses between the two languages
  • creating bilingual texts such as posters and songs, and discussing how to represent meaning in different languages for different audiences
  • creating bilingual texts such as brochures, posters or invitations to inform others about upcoming events

Identity

Explore their own sense of identity, including elements such as family, friends, interests, membership of groups, and consider markers of identity that may be important across all cultures

[Key concepts: identity (individual and group), kinship, community, membership; Key processes: creating, representing, discussing, comparing] (ACLFWC161 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • creating a class wall chart or family tree, labelling with appropriate kinship terms (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students may be able to source information about their totems/moieties and other affiliations from home, family and community sources)
  • investigating and discussing, as culturally appropriate, the meaning of personal, family and other names and their significance as markers of identity
  • working with Elders to map community-wide links between families according to known kin links
  • designing visual representations, such as concept maps, posters or captioned slide presentations, of their group memberships, for example, friendship, family, sporting, interest and community groups, moieties, and discussing what such membership means to their sense of identity
  • creating a profile to capture their sense of personal identity, for example, through an avatar or montage, using key words and expressions and commenting on the significance of particular events, influences or interactions
  • considering how their individual upbringing and experiences impact on their assumptions/attitudes when participating in intercultural interactions, for example, in relation to notions of leisure/free time or family and community responsibilities
  • talking about ways local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities express elements of their shared identity, for example, through behaviours associated with sporting teams, distinctions between coastal versus inland communities, through community events and profiling of identities from their community
  • noticing and comparing their use of words or expressions from different languages when communicating in English and discussing how this relates to their sense of identity
  • monitoring their development as learners of the language, for example, by recording learning experiences, reflections in blogs, learning logs or journals
  • identifying markers of identity that may be important across all cultures, for example, family, community, location, language, age, gender
  • exploring the concept of collective identity by designing an item, such as a language flag or artefact, that incorporates elements of importance to the language/community

Reflecting

Notice and describe ways in which the language and associated communicative behaviours are similar or different to other known languages and cultures

[Key concepts: language, culture, values, similarity, difference, communication; Key processes: noticing, comparing, describing, explaining, questioning, reflecting] (ACLFWC162 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • noticing how respect is shown to Elders in the community, through practices such as terms of address and expressions of deference, and comparing to practices associated with other languages and cultures
  • noticing aspects of communication and cultural expression characterised or reflected in language stories, songs, visual design, dance or audio/visual media such as IndigiTUBE, and reflecting on/comparing their individual responses to these elements
  • comparing their own and each other’s reflections on the experience of participating in and learning the language, and considering whether their attitudes or understandings have in some respects changed through the experience
  • comparing observations about how interactions in the language feel different to interactions in English and other known languages, identifying different ways of socialising or communicating that seem to be culture-specific

Systems of language

Distinguish and produce the speech sounds of the language, understanding how these are represented in writing

[Key concepts: punctuation, upper and lower case letters, diacritics, intonation, spelling; Key processes: identifying, discriminating, noticing,listening, reading] (ACLFWU163 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • identifying meaningful sounds, syllables and morphemes in words and phrases
  • confirming sound–symbol correspondences in the language by reading syllables, morphemes and words for meaning
  • using conventions of the written language, for example, punctuation, capitalisation, diacritics, digraphs, to support links with the spoken language
  • identifying morphemes, words and phrases in speech and matching these with their written forms
  • paying attention to consistency in the spelling of the language, with direct reference to the sound system of the language
  • noticing variations in pronunciation of the same word by different speakers and discussing whether this can be reflected in the spelling of the word
  • recognising that in some cases the original sound/parts of the sound of some words in the language may be unknown, considering possible reasons for this
  • understanding that other languages may suggest historical pronunciations for the language
  • learning that very similar languages may have different spelling systems, and how this may mask similarities of their sound systems
  • recognising which speech sounds are not typical for the language, and which sounds are very common, identifying where these can occur in words
  • using knowledge of sound–symbol correspondences to read familiar and new words out aloud from their written forms
  • noticing the various roles of the speech organs in the production of sounds in the language, and comparing these with English and other known languages
Expand vocabulary in the language through word-formation processes and recognise and use simple language structures

[Key concepts: word formation, word class, grammatical person and number, negation, metalanguage; Key processes: noticing, comparing, applying, understanding, modifying meaning] (ACLFWU164 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • exploring known word formation processes, for example, changing a word with the addition or change of a suffix or prefix to convey different meanings
  • constructing expressions that refer to people, places, things and events using:
    • nouns and adjectives in phrases, for example, compound nouns, reduplications and nominalisations, adjectives without an associated noun
    • sentences without verbs, for example, ‘This (is) my bag’
    • pronouns, for example, personal, kinship, demonstrative and interrogative in all persons and numbers
    • determiners and quantifiers, for example, ‘some’, ‘every’, ‘other’, ‘few’, ‘much’, ‘all’, and words for groups
    • marking to indicate possession and other types of association, for example, ‘Let’s go for water’
    • transitive and intransitive verbs
    • verbs of stance used in existential expressions, for example, ‘There is a creek lying near the road’
    • verbs to talk about actions, processes, thoughts and feelings
    • moods of verbs, including statements, questions, imperatives, commands, intention, purpose, likelihood, reported speech
    • negation
  • expressing time, manner, attitude and place according to available language resources, such as:
    • tenses, including past, present and future/non-past
    • temporal expressions, for example, day–night cycle, lunar and seasonal cycles, ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘soon’, ‘recent’, ‘long ago’, expressions for cosmological time
    • expressions of frequency, for example, ‘often’, ‘always’, ‘once’, ‘briefly’
    • attitudinal particles, for example, ‘maybe’, ‘it is said’, ‘what do you say?’, ‘would you mind?’, ‘you see’
    • locational cases, for example, ‘in’, ‘an’, ‘at’, ‘near’, ‘besides’, ‘to’, ‘towards’, ‘from’
    • adverbs of manner, location and time, for example, ‘again’, ‘more’, ‘in turn’, ‘too late’, ‘as well’
    • structuring and linking clauses, for example, using coordination, subordination, embedding
  • understanding that rules vary between languages, for example, in relation to word-formation, word order at phrase and sentence level
  • making comparisons and identifying patterns in and between languages, for example, free and fixed word order, tenses in verbs, use of affixes versus prepositions
  • noticing similarities between particular vocabulary sets in languages from the same region, such as words for body parts, kinship terms
  • developing metalanguage for talking about language, for example, noun phrases, suffixes, prefixes, tense, transitivity, using resources from both the language and English
Understand that texts such as stories, paintings, songs and dances have distinct purposes and particular language features

[Key concepts: text, features, purpose; Key processes: recognising, identifying, distinguishing, applying, linking] (ACLFWU165 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • distinguishing the purpose and characteristic features of different types of texts, for example, stories are usually about journeys across Country and convey explanations about why features of Country exist and are important
  • understanding that for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages conventions of written text are in the process of being developed
  • recognising language features typically associated with familiar texts, for example, the use of imperatives in games, instructions and procedures, and the use of past and habitual tenses in stories
  • linking ideas using appropriate grammatical forms and processes, for example, connectives, serialisation, embedding
  • recognising the role played by different elements in texts to contribute to meaning-making, for example, the layout, title, illustration and use of punctuation in a picture book or the use of speech bubbles in a cartoon
  • investigating the purpose and use of sign language in various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, for example, for hunting, for recent bereavement, for communicating at a distance, for restricting who can understand the message
Recognise how kin relationships link people, Place and story

[Key concepts: kinship system, ways of talking, human relationships, interrelatedness; Key processes: recognising, interpreting, discussing (ACLFWU166 - Scootle )

  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • interpreting kinship charts to identify kin terms for wider family groupings, and comparing these with terminology used in other languages and cultures, for example, for maternal versus paternal grandparents, the presence or absence of birth order names
  • discussing links between people, stories and Country/Place and the social importance of connections to History
  • recognising that certain places have historical and contemporary significance to the community, representing special bonds between people, Place and story
  • understanding that songs, stories and other forms of artistic expression can be recreated/traced and contextualised in contemporary circumstances

Language variation and change

Understand that speakers vary language forms according to kin relationship and context of situation

[Key concepts: kinship, respect, register, silence, taboo; Key processes: observing, examining, explaining, investigating; noticing, recognising] (ACLFWU167 - Scootle )

  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • observing how language is used to establish, maintain and reflect kin-based relationships
  • noticing word taboo in Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages
  • observing that expressions can be made more or less formal or casual to suit the relationship between speakers
  • reflecting on how they communicate with their own family and friends and with people less close to them, noticing differences in language use and communicative behaviour
Recognise that languages change over time

[Key concepts: regional languages, language shift, language loss, borrowing, relatedness; Key processes: identifying, recognising, comparing] (ACLFWU168 - Scootle )

  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • identifying words that are the same as or similar to neighbouring languages
  • understanding ways in which languages influence one another, for example, language shifts, shared writing systems, loan words
  • discussing loan words that have been incorporated from other languages to describe new concepts, for example, words for new things, including technological innovations
  • understanding that language and culture together continually change as a result of contact with other languages and cultures

Language awareness

Explore the language situation of language communities and the diversity of language contexts in Australia

[Key concepts: change, sign, context; Key processes: recognising, discussing, investigating] (ACLFWU169 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • investigating the nature and state of health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Australia and in their region
  • recognising that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are multilingual, and discussing reasons for this
  • learning about the current language situation in the language: its state of health, the nature of the speech community and generational differences, and discussing reasons for these characteristics
  • recognising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are in various states of maintenance, development and revival, and investigating the diversity of historical causes for this
  • recognising how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages have been transmitted and recorded across generations
  • exploring how physical and biological environments affect linguistic ecology
  • recognising shared vocabulary across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, and understanding why there might be variations in spelling
  • recognising dialectal differences and similarities within languages
  • investigating ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are used in the local region and in the wider Australian community, for example, in the media, in art galleries, festivals, on public transport
Understand that the use of stories and names in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages is culturally determined

[Key concepts: ownership, custodianship, cultural safety; Key processes: recognising, observing, discussing] (ACLFWU170 - Scootle )

  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • observing and discussing protocols surrounding the retelling and sharing of stories
  • recognising and using principles and protocols of cultural safety when engaging with cultural material/property, such as names of things, peoples and places, visual and aural recordings, art work
  • understanding how and when Welcomes and Acknowledgements are required and who is entitled to deliver them

Role of language and culture

Explore connections between identity and cultural values and beliefs and the expression of these connections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

[Key concepts: Country/Place, cultural expression and transmission, values, beliefs, spirituality; Key processes: observing, making connections, discussing, investigating] (ACLFWU171 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures in caring for Country/Place and the environment
  • investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples express their relationship with the natural environment through language, for example, words/expressions associated with seasons, stars, winds, reefs, rivers, waterholes, plants and animals
  • gaining understanding through discussions with Elders of the importance and significance of Welcome to Country/Place
  • understanding that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages are keeping places for cultural, environmental and social knowledge
  • recognising that song and song language play a central role as keeping places of knowledge
  • understanding that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages have a rich oral literature, which recounts epic journeys and events associated with totemic ancestors/cultural heroes, and that these stories map the land and embody values and mores of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • understanding and discussing the importance of story and the role of story-telling in transmitting language and culture
  • recognising ways in which cultural values are expressed in language, for example, through forms of address, speech prohibitions and styles, language of respect, land–language associations and non-verbal communicative behaviours
  • observing that concepts may be culture-specific, for example, expressing spatial awareness, how relationships are structured, how time and quantity are expressed, how land, water, sea and sky are viewed
  • recognising that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages have various social, spiritual and cultural functions within communities

Role of language building

Identify available resources and protocols to be followed when building language

[Key concept: language revival, language building, language resources, keeping places, protocols; Key processes: identifying, locating, discussing] (ACLFWU172 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • identifying and locating available language resources suitable for language building, for example, living speakers and rememberers, visual, aural and written documents, archival material
  • identifying the existence and location of keeping places for texts and resources as language is rebuilt, for example, in the community, national archives, purpose-built interpretative centres
  • understanding that there are protocols to be followed when building language, such as consulting and involving language owners who may want to determine how the language expands into new domains of use
  • discussing potential limits and constraints of school language programs in relation to building language
  • learning about language building efforts in their community and the role of particular groups in this process, for example, by visiting the local language centre, history museum or by inviting people involved in the process to talk to the class
  • identifying language revival programs in other regions and reporting on processes used and resources developed
  • finding examples of language revival in the categories of language revitalisation, language renewal and language reclamation, and consider what these examples contribute to the processes of language building
  • understanding how language revival serves to enrich Australia’s linguistic and cultural resources
Understand how the language has been recorded in the past, and how this affects language building processes

[Key concepts: language revival, language resources, linguistic techniques, documentation, keeping places, protocols; Key processes: identifying, discussing, language building] (ACLFWU173 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • understanding how the language was recorded in the past, by whom and for what purposes
  • understanding the techniques of how the language was recorded in the past, what this means to the language and how it has affected current representation of the language
  • understanding reasons for different spellings of words within the language, for example, how sounds may have been misheard, meanings been misunderstood and other unintentional errors introduced in the documentation process of the language
  • understanding how language resources such as living speakers, recorded texts and archival information are used in the language building process
  • identifying gaps in the vocabulary of the language, considering what responses may be necessary
  • helping to build a community of learners–speakers who use the language, for example, by teaching younger members of the school community and/or classes in local primary schools

Years 3 to 6 Achievement Standards

The achievement standards for the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages LR pathway are generalised in order to cater for the wide range of languages which may be learnt as an LR within the school context. The achievement standards will need to be adapted for use for specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

The Achievement Standards in the Language Revival Learner Pathway will be shaped by the current progress of language revival for a particular language and the amount of vocabulary and variety of language structures available for teaching and learning.

By the end of Year 6, students use familiar language and modelled sentence patterns to share information about aspects of their personal worlds, such as their family and friends, interests, everyday routines and activities. They interact appropriately with Elders and community speakers and apply principles and protocols of cultural safety when interacting with Country/Place and engaging with cultural material such as artefacts, works of art, texts and performances. Students ask and respond to simple questions, request help, repetition or clarification, and respond to questions and requests using rehearsed phrases and sentences. Whenever possible they use the language to interact and collaborate in games and other activities, including the use of hand signs as appropriate. They interact with Country/Place to gather information and knowledge and demonstrate their understanding of Country/Place, for example, by explaining the origins and meanings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names of streets, parks, public institutions and social programs. They label, order and classify natural objects, animals and plants, by making simple statements about key features. They identify features of landforms, infrastructure and built environment, identifying places which have special significance to community. Students listen to, read and view a range of resources in the language, such as historical documents, stories, photos, images and art works, and demonstrate understanding of content by locating, recording and interpreting key words and phrases, and locating key points of information. They present information they have obtained that relates to language, culture, environment and community personalities, using short sentence structures, familiar vocabulary, photos and concrete materials. They demonstrate understanding of stories, songs, visual design and performance, for example by mapping sites, landforms and features through which a travelling story or songline passes, or by selecting and writing simple modelled statements to describe main characters and events. They create their own texts and works of art to tell a story, incorporating illustrations and visual props, significant symbols and techniques appropriate to Country/Place.

Students use simple, formulaic language to retell excerpts from stories and to create new songs and stories, understanding their role in helping to build a community of learner-speakers who use the language. They apply their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary to translate short texts, such as word lists, labels, songs and historical texts, explaining culture-specific concepts and expressions that do not translate easily into English. They create bilingual texts for the classroom and school community that explain words and associated cultural ideas. Students identify markers of identity across cultures, and recognise the importance of language, Country/Place and culture to the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They reflect on their own cultural identity in light of their experience of learning the language, considering how their ideas and ways of communicating are influenced by their own cultural backgrounds.

Students know that the language has its own pronunciation, spelling and grammar. They apply this knowledge to predict the sound, spelling and meaning of new words. They use metalanguage for language explanation, for making comparisons with English forms and other known languages, for reflecting on the experience of learning the language and culture, and for explaining the purpose and techniques of language building. They describe different ways of communicating in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, for example, through story, song, sign language and artistic expression. Students know that language use varies according to age, relationships and situation, and they identify and explain kin terms in particular Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages where it is appropriate. They provide examples of how languages change over time. They recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are in various states of maintenance, development and revival and can give some historical reasons for this. They explain the current situation of the language they are learning, including details about what is known about it, its current usage, generational differences and revival plans. They explain the importance of maintaining, strengthening and reviving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages for specific communities and for the broader Australian community. They demonstrate their understanding of the link between language, culture, Country and Place by working with the community language groups to develop a short ‘Welcome to Country/Place’ and/or ‘Acknowledgement of Country/Place’ to present at formal school functions or community events. Students describe language building efforts in their community. They explain protocols for language building, such as consulting and involving language owners. They identify contemporary and historical language materials that may assist communities with language building efforts and the challenges involved in using these. They understand their own role in helping to build a community of language-learner speakers and in the development of new language resources. They explain how the language was recorded in the past, by whom and for what purpose, and can give reasons for some different spellings of words within the language. Students know that the language is primarily oral and explain the importance of story and story-telling in transmitting language and culture. They recognise that ownership of songs, stories, dances and designs is determined by traditional kinship and other social groupings, place, History and Journey. They know that language in its various forms carries Indigenous knowledge in the context of Country/Place.