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 7 to 10

Years 7 to 10 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 and 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 the language and 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 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 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 renewal languages 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, students bring to their learning a range of language learning strategies. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own, and are engaging with the 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 the language they are learning could be part of these.

Language learning and use

Learners interact using the language whenever possible in classroom routines and communicative tasks with peers, the teaching team, Elders and community members. They give presentations and participate in conversations, with some preparation and support, such as the use of cue cards. They acquire skills in accessing and analysing historical documents and recordings.

Learners extend the range and quality of their writing through drawing on increased vocabulary and grammar knowledge, to the extent that this is possible in the revived language; and by drafting and editing their own work and that of their peers. They use models to create a range of texts, including descriptions, recounts and reflections.

Students learn about the techniques used to build language, such as analysing historical sources, interviewing/recording existing speakers, and they discuss the contemporary orthographic and grammatical choices of the community.

Students act as contemporary documenters of the language, for example, by listening and transcribing spoken texts, and preserving language resources developed at school for future access and use.

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 same community. Interacting with Country/Place to explore the environment and learn about Country/Place with Elders and other community members is essential to their continued learning. Students may also have access to community centres, such as interpretative museums or art and language centres. They may have opportunities to work with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in language-related projects, contributing to the development and maintenance of local language records and resources through structured and research-based projects.

Texts and resources

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

Learners engage with and help to shape a 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, as well as teacher-generated materials such as games and items from the community and local environment. Some texts will incorporate English or another community language in a complementary role, filling in for items or expressions that have not yet been reconstituted in the language; other texts will be bilingual, with no mixing of languages.

Level of support

Learners are increasingly aware of and responsible for their own learning. They continue to access support resources such as word lists, modelled texts, dictionaries, grammars, and they seek teacher feedback to support their receptive and productive language use.

They require explicit instruction in the grammatical system of the language, which includes comparison with English and other known languages and opportunities to discuss, practise and apply their knowledge. They keep records of their learning, for example, through journals, folios or a blogs. They use these resources to reflect on their language learning and intercultural experiences.

The role of languages

The language is used whenever and to the extent possible in the revived language for classroom interaction, language learning tasks and experiences. Maximal use of the language increases learners’ language proficiency and enhances language revival.

English and other known languages provide a basis for linguistic and cultural comparison and for a developing metalinguistic understanding of intercultural learning that supports the ability for consider different perspectives and ways of being meditated by language.

For 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 7 to 10 Content Descriptions

Socialising

Engage with peers, the teaching team and visiting Elders/community members to exchange information about interests, experiences, plans and aspirations

[Key concepts: experience, aspiration; Key processes: recounting, exchanging, connecting] (ACLFWC174 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • expressing personal experiences, plans, goals and aspirations
  • asking and responding to open-ended questions, for example, why, how, when, using modelled sentence patterns
  • engaging in face-to-face or online discussions with peers about shared interests and experiences, such as sport, food, study, music or fashion
  • recounting experiences, such as holidays, special events, milestones, sports events or celebrations
  • sharing and comparing information about daily routines and responsibilities
  • sustaining and extending conversations by seeking additional information
  • exchanging information about family, friends, teachers, school subjects, entertainment and leisure activities
Engage in activities that involve collaboration, planning, organising, promoting and taking action

[Key concepts: event, experience; Key processes: planning, organising, negotiating] (ACLFWC175 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Sustainability
  • participating in planning and making arrangements, using language related to place and activity, for example, organising class events, such as holding a lunch, party or performance
  • creating displays, presentations or performances for family, friends or the school community to showcase progress in learning and using the language
  • giving and following instructions, using hand signs as appropriate, for example, explaining how to cook bush tucker or to make artefacts
  • planning and participating in learning experiences that combine linguistic and cultural elements, such as an excursion to an art exhibition or performance, sharing responses and reactions
  • designing posters, displays and digital presentations to draw attention to issues relevant to the Country/Place, such as reinstating names of places and features, protection of significant trees and landmarks, endangered wildlife, erosion, urban development, the importance of learning the language of Country/Place at school
  • promoting events in the local community, such as festivals, sporting, music and cultural events that support/promote well-being and community development
  • promoting Reconciliation in community by showcasing local language learning and language revival activities
Interact in class activities that involve making suggestions, seeking clarification, praising or complimenting one another

[Key concepts: opinion, clarification, interaction; Key processes: requesting, negotiating, expressing, comparing, deciding, explaining] (ACLFWC176 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • making suggestions or providing clarification
  • using respectful language for agreeing or disagreeing
  • asking for clarification, for example, asking how to spell a word, say or write something, or asking for the meaning of a word or expression
  • giving help, responding to instructions, offering suggestions
  • asking and responding to closed and open-ended questions, for example, in relation to class assignments or due dates
  • apologising, praising, complimenting and encouraging one another

Informing

Investigate and summarise factual information obtained from a range of sources on a variety of topics and issues related to the Country/Place

[Key concepts: Indigenous knowledge, social and environmental issues, lifestyles - past and present community initiatives and projects; ; Key processes: summarising, synthesising, referencing] (ACLFWC177 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • investigating the origins of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander names in their local area, regional area and state and territory, recording meanings where known, and identifying different source languages
  • interviewing an Elder/community member to gain an historical perspective about their use of particular words and language constructions, observing correct respect protocols and presenting findings in formats such as digital presentations, posters, wall charts or oral summaries
  • researching and creating a profile of a prominent member of the language community, for example, an artist, sportsperson or leader
  • developing a photographic record/portfolio of different animal and plant species found in Country/Place, with commentary/annotations
  • seeking information from Elders to assist in classifying living things according to culturally appropriate categories, comparing these classification systems with those used in western approaches to the study of living systems
  • identifying and describing the role of various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations that provide services to their community
  • researching different aspects of a selected Indigenous business operating in the community, for example, an enterprise associated with arts, bush medicine, bush food, tourism, transportation or animal husbandry, and presenting findings in digital formats or oral presentation mode
  • analysing a range of historical documents recorded in the language, classifying content according to categories such as date, text genre (wordlist, letter), topic (Indigenous knowledge, environment, traditions, fishing/navigation, rules), purpose of the text and intention of the writer (to inform, prescribe, describe, assert authority); and presenting findings in chart or table form or by giving a presentation
  • interviewing local community members about their experiences of living on the land, their relationship with language and culture and their recollections from the past, recording and presenting key findings
  • researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander words used in English, using resources such as the Australian National Dictionary, and identifying and explaining words that come from the local language
Convey information about Country/Place events, experiences or topics of shared interest, using different modes of presentation

[Key concepts: audience, Country/Place, community life; Key processes: describing, explaining, creating, annotating] (ACLFWC178 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • creating a booklet/pamphlet/guide/brochure for the local community that explains the origins of local place names and features their meaning and significance, providing explanations in language and English as appropriate
  • creating a video clip or a photographic or journal record of activities such as an excursion, performance or sporting event to share with other language learners
  • creating and editing a presentation that includes text, images and sounds to record and explain aspects of the Country/Place
  • creating a short documentary to present information and features/stories, for example, about the Country/Place and associated social and cultural events, including, for example, interviews with and quotes from prominent identities
  • compiling a portfolio of texts about Country/Place, for example, a class anthology of stories and songs from the community, procedural texts, histories of the region, profiles of community identities
  • creating an interactive presentation for younger children that highlights the benefits of maintaining and strengthening the language of the Country/Place

Creating

Interpret and respond to texts by sharing personal reactions, comparing themes, describing and explaining aspects of artistic expression and how these relate to land, sky, sea, water, people, plants, animals and social and ecological relationships

[Key concepts: representation, imagination; Key processes: interpreting, explaining, describing, discussing; Key text types: songs, dances, stories, paintings and visual design, video clips, films] (ACLFWC179 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • listening to Elders/community speakers tell stories on Country/Place, interpreting signs and gestures and using correct protocols to ask clarifying questions and to find out about the cultural role of storytelling
  • interpreting and responding to texts such as songs, stories, films or video clips by recording key vocabulary and expressions, identifying and explaining main ideas, themes and sequences of events, for example, by sharing personal reactions with others
  • discussing how key messages and beliefs are communicated through stories and visual and creative arts, for example, comparing the role and representation of animals, people and landscapes in different expressive forms
  • discussing and explaining how land, sky, sea, people, plants, animals and social and ecological relationships are expressed through the arts
  • investigating traditional and contemporary arts, including paintings, weavings, artefacts, and identifying how they relate to or express elements of Country/Place and people
  • listening to, viewing and comparing personal responses to popular music, identifying key messages, themes and performance styles,, and considering how they incorporate social commentary
  • discussing how stories and songs often link neighbouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and nations
  • retelling stories belonging to Country/Place
Create a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts to entertain others, involving real or imagined contexts and characters

[Key concepts: imagination, journey; Key processes: creating, collaborating, performing, composing; Key text types : raps, songs, performances, stories, cartoons, advertisements, digital texts, video clips, skits, paintings, visual designs] (ACLFWC180 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • creating a rap or skit to entertain others, including digital or performative elements,
  • creating own visual and performative art work, using symbols and techniques appropriate to Country/Place to convey a message or emotion
  • taking on the role of a character from a story and responding to questions in-role
  • creating and performing real or imagined experiences, using expressive language, gestures and supporting materials to create dramatic effect
  • creating animations, short plays or stories to present in class or to share with a wider virtual audience
  • composing simple songs, sporting chants, jingles, posters or advertisements for real or imagined situations or products
  • telling the story of a real or imagined journey, involving a variety of characters, places and events
  • collaborating with community to tell stories

Translating

Translate and interpret texts from the language to English and vice versa, comparing their versions and considering how to explain elements that involve cultural knowledge or understanding

[Key concepts: equivalence, representation, meaning, interpretation, idiom; Key processes: comparing, explaining, interpreting] (ACLFWC181 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • translating and interpreting texts from the language to English and vice versa, comparing own interpretations with those of others and discussing what differs and why
  • translating and interpreting texts such as narratives, song lyrics, dialogues or posters, considering how to explain elements that involve cultural knowledge or understanding, and using resources such as dictionaries and grammars
  • using and explaining words and expressions that do not easily translate into English and considering choices made when conveying equivalent meaning in English
  • identifying and explaining concepts, practices and expressions in the language which do not easily translate into English, for example, the number system, terms for colour, language associated with time, daily and seasonal cycles, kinship terms
  • understanding and applying culturally appropriate and ethical behaviour when interpreting and translating
Create bilingual texts for the wider community collaboration with others

[Key concepts: interpretation, expression, bilingualism; Key processes: designing, explaining, classifying, glossing, annotating, composing] (ACLFWC182 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • creating shared bilingual learning resources, such as print or digital word banks or glossaries of expressions used in everyday interactions in the language and in English
  • creating bilingual learning resources for younger learners, for example, children’s stories and games
  • performing a role-play or skit for a specified audience, using the language for the performance and English for supporting explanations and commentary
  • creating bilingual texts, using subtitles and captions, to inform the school community about aspects of the language and culture
  • creating a bilingual display, for example, a video-clip or photographic display to showcase events and shared experiences, such as a bush trip
  • creating bilingual digital texts such as song lyrics or dialogues which allow display in the language, in English or in both

Identity

Consider and discuss their own and each other’s ways of communicating and expressing identity, reflecting on how the language links the local, regional and national identity of its speakers with the land

[Key concepts: identity, perspective, biography; Key processes: sharing, comparing, considering, reflecting, analysing] (ACLFWC183 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • considering how their own biography, including elements such as family origins, traditions, beliefs, practices, interests and experiences, shapes their sense of identity and ways of communicating
  • describing kinship connections with the surrounding Country/Place or connections of an Elder or guest speaker
  • creating spoken, written or multimodal texts, such as identity maps, timelines, digital presentations or family trees with captions, to mark key milestones and significant influences in their lives, for example, key people, events, educational experiences, community affiliations, traditions or travel experiences, considering how these shape identity
  • comparing and reflecting on how identity is expressed across languages and cultures, for example, by considering the idea of ‘belonging’ as expressed in different languages
  • discussing the role that language and culture play in the identity and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • investigating how particular policies and practices affect the sense of identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for example, the effect of language loss, separation from Country/Place/family/community
  • reflecting on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from different nations express their group identity, for example, through practices and symbols such as flags, Welcomes to Country, Indigenous rounds in sporting leagues
  • reflecting on how their own biography, including family origins, traditions, beliefs, practices, interests and experiences, shapes their sense of identity and ways of communicating
  • discussing the link between identity and connections to land/water/sea/sky, culture and language and the health and well-being of individuals and community
  • reflecting on how the language links the local, regional and national identity of its speakers with the land, water, sea and sky

Reflecting

Participate in intercultural interactions and consider own reactions when engaging with Elders and community members and resources

[Key concepts: intercultural experience, perspective, insight, self-reflection, ways of knowing and being, reconciliation, discrimination; Key processes: comparing, analysing, explaining, reflecting, choosing] (ACLFWC184 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • reflecting and reporting on how learning the language provides insights into the relationship between language and culture in general, and how their own assumptions about ways of knowing and being may change through the experience
  • reflecting on how learning the language provides a distinctive means of understanding the Country/Place, including the relationship between land, the environment and people, and issues of discrimination and reconciliation
  • keeping a journal of memorable experiences (humorous, satisfying or challenging) associated with learning and using the language in various contexts, noting personal responses and reflections over time and insights gained
  • identifying and comparing how emotions or attitudes such as respect, shyness, exuberance or embarrassment are shown, displayed and expressed across different languages and cultures

Systems of language

Understand and explain the sound patterns in spoken language and use developing phonemic awareness to represent these patterns in written form

[Key concepts: metalanguage, patterns, phonetic articulation, syllable; Key processes: reading, investigating, comparing] (ACLFWU185 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • reading aloud for meaning to demonstrate comprehension of sound–symbol correspondences
  • developing metalanguage to describe and talk about sounds and phonology, for example, place and manner of articulation, uncertain or missing sounds
  • investigating sound patterns, for example, consonant and vowel sequences, and word-level patterns, for example, allowable word-final sounds, allowable consonant clusters, word stress
  • understanding the major categories of place of articulation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, for example, peripheral, laminal, apical, and their realisation across different languages and regions in Australia
  • establishing similarities in the sound systems of related languages otherwise masked by differing spelling systems
  • using their knowledge of alphabetic conventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to transcribe spoken texts from a range of languages, for example, those related to the target language or those from neighbouring regions
  • comparing and explaining the relative consistency of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and English in spelling words
  • understanding the phonemic basis of alphabetic spelling systems and the fact that different sounds can be covered within a single phoneme or letter
  • exploring different writing systems that are based on different principles, for example, syllabic or ideographic
Expand vocabulary and understand and use a range of vocabulary sets and grammatical structures that are available in the language

[Key concepts: system, grammatical case, transitivity; Key processes: explaining, discussing] (ACLFWU186 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding case and case marking on nouns, pronouns and adjectives
  • explaining how verbs can be derived from nouns and vice versa, comparing with similar processes in English and other known languages
  • composing and varying messages according to the available resources of the language, such as:
    • suffixes, including ‘having’, ‘for want of’, ‘similar to’, ‘like’
    • verbless sentences, for example, equative, descriptive, possessive
    • verb categories, including intransitive, transitive, causative, inchoative, reflexive–reciprocal
    • verb aspect, including continuous, transitory, perfective, imperfective
    • verb-stem morphology, including compound verbs, reduplicated verbs, habitual/characteristic, derivation (nouns into verbs)
  • expressing time, manner, attitude and place, according to the available language resources, such as:
    • elaborations of past tense
    • temporal expressions, for example, ‘beforehand’, ‘afterwards’, ‘too late’, ‘originally’
    • expressions of frequency, immediacy and duration, for example, ‘persistently’, ‘at once’, ‘a few times’, ‘for a while’
    • attitudinal words, particles and interjections, for example, terms expressing endearment, embarrassment, shame or pity
    • locational cases as used in locative phrases, and extensions of these, for example, expressing origin or causation
  • structuring and linking clauses, focusing on issues of agreement with transitive and intransitive verbs, using verb-linking devices, for example, serialisation and embedding
  • discussing lexical and grammatical relationships between the language and other languages of the region, for example, common words and structures
  • discussing grammatical and lexical contrasts between the language and English/ other known languages, for example, the figurative use of language, vocabulary associated with specialised domains
Discuss the purpose and roles of various spoken, written and visual texts in the language

[Key concepts: text, relationship, intention; Key processes: analysing, investigating, linking and sequencing] (ACLFWU187 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding the purpose and role of different types of text in the language, for example, declaring identity, acknowledging parts of traditional belief systems, acknowledging ancestors, passing on knowledge and information, mapping resources on Country and managing natural phenomena such as weather
  • understanding that Country/Place can be interpreted as text by the community
  • discussing ways that songs function to capture language and meaning in ways similar to literature in other cultures
  • linking and sequencing ideas to form cohesive texts, using appropriate grammatical forms and elements, for example, serialisation, connectives, embedding, headings and paragraphing
Investigate how the kinship system functions to integrate personal and community histories and relationships

[Key concepts: interconnectedness, human relationships, ownership, rights and responsibilities; Key processes: describing, explaining, investigating, exploring] (ACLFWU188 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding and discussing kinship as a system, and explaining its importance in maintaining and regulating social relationships in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • investigating how the language community addresses gaps in knowledge about the kinship system
  • exploring how language is involved in the patterning of ownership and management of land and associated stories
  • understanding that different roles and responsibilities in community and public life can be determined by kinship and traditional social groupings
  • explaining how art forms, songs and dances identify people and places

Language variation and change

Discuss variations in language use that reflect different social and cultural contexts, purposes and relationships

[Key concepts: respect, silence, kinship; Key processes: examining, explaining, analysing] (ACLFWU189 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding how elements of communication in Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages, such as gestures, facial expressions, choice of language and use of silence, vary according to context, situation and kin relationships, for example, eye contact, pointing with lips
  • analysing and discussing intergenerational differences in language use, for example, young people’s language compared to the language of older generations
  • explaining variations in language use that reflect different levels of formality, authority and status, for example, expressions used with respected kin, ways of asking questions of different people
Describe and reflect on how languages change over time and influence one another

[Key concepts: contact, change; Key processes: exploring, observing, reflecting] (ACLFWU190 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • exploring form, usage, history and impact of contact languages, including creoles, pidgins and Aboriginal Englishes
  • investigating and describing how the language has changed over time
  • observing changes to language that reflect changing lifestyles, cultural trends and emerging needs, for example, youth language, the language of new technologies, the impact of music, media and technology on communication
  • reflecting on changes in their own use of their first language(s) over time, noticing how and when new ways are adopted or existing ways adapted
  • exploring changes in language over time, for example, by reviewing old films from state archives or early television shows that include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actors

Language awareness

Investigate and compare the ecology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to Indigenous languages in other countries, and consider issues such as language policy, language rights, language loss, advocacy, reform and multilingualism

[Key concepts: environment, boundaries, policy, revival; Key processes: researching, investigating, exploring, considering] (ACLFWU191 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • investigating the social, cultural and linguistic effects of language change and/or language loss in the region
  • understanding terms used in the discussion of language revival, for example, revitalisation, reclamation, renewal
  • investigating the geographical extent of use of the language in earlier times
  • considering the future prospects of the language in the context of its current linguistic ecology
  • exploring Indigenous multilingualism in various communities, including regional varieties, Aboriginal Englishes and creoles
  • researching the impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in general, and on the target language in particular, of historical events, government policies, legislation and judicial processes, such as stolen generations, mission schools and advocacy
  • identifying social and government policies and practices that have impacted positively on language acquisition, for example, the performing of Welcome to Country and the Acknowledgement of Country at events, on television programs, in films, and efforts to raise the profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the wider Australian community and in particular geographical regions
  • investigating the situation of indigenous languages in other countries, for example, New Zealand, Hawaii, North America, Japan, Latin America, considering issues such as language rights, language endangerment, revival and reclamation, drawing comparisons with the situation of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia
  • researching current media debates in relation to Aboriginal language and Torres Strait Islander languages
  • comparing word lists of languages and dialects of the region, to understand similarities and differences and identify potential opportunities for reconstruction
Understand and apply cultural norms, skills and protocols associated with learning, using and researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

[Key concepts: ownership, custodianship, ethical behaviour, intellectual property; Key processes: acknowledging, investigating, applying] (ACLFWU192 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • using culturally appropriate protocols when engaging with and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
  • acknowledging cultural and intellectual property rights and copyright over language work, including song holders, story keepers, language informers, composers and choreographers

Role of language and culture

Reflect on how ways of using language are shaped by communities’ ways of thinking, behaving and viewing the world, and the role of language in passing on knowledge

[Key concepts: Indigenous knowledge, value transmission; Key processes: reflecting, exploring, analysing, comparing] (ACLFWU193 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • explaining the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures in passing on knowledge such as sustainable care of the environment, rules for living, ways of behaving, spiritual and cultural functions and History
  • reflecting on Indigenous taxonomies and the ways they divide the natural and cultural world and comparing these to other systems of classification
  • analysing concepts related to cultural values in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, including naming systems, for example, the use of kinship terms, nicknames, substitute words and pronoun systems, comparing to ways of referencing relationships in their own language(s) and culture(s)
  • exploring how aspects of traditional culture and society have been preserved through language, and discussing the importance of maintaining Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, for their speakers and for all Australians
  • analysing and discussing core cultural concepts reflected in Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages, such as respect, avoidance, reciprocity, obligation, responsibility
  • understanding that culturally significant attitudes and beliefs conveyed through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are related to the past, to land, plants and animals and to celebrations
  • identifying and comparing how emotions or attitudes, such as respect, affection or embarrassment, are shown/displayed across different languages and cultures
  • comparing elements of communication such as the role of silence or use/avoidance of eye contact in different cultural contexts and exchanges
  • recognising that there are multiple views on and partial explanations for events and issues
  • reflecting on the ways culture is interpreted by others, for example, by identifying how stereotypes influence perceptions of other groups or individuals
  • understanding that each Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person inherits language as part of their birthright, along with membership of a particular group and attachment to Country or Place, and that they become custodians and owners of land, water or sea and of language

Role of language building

Explore language building processes and protocols in communities

[Key concepts: language revival, protocols, lexical and grammatical resources, advocacy; Key processes: identifying, investigating, discussing] (ACLFWU194 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • investigating language revival efforts in their own community and neighbouring regions, for example, who and what is involved, successes, challenges and protocols, and what these efforts mean to local communities
  • understanding what lexical and grammatical resources and processes are available to build language, for example, linguistic resources and analogies from neighbouring languages, speakers, archival material
  • investigating/understanding protocols for filling gaps and extending semantic domains in the language, including protocols for borrowing from other languages, for creating words by analogy and drawing from within the resources of the language, and discussing associated ethical issues
  • investigating/researching the protocols for receiving, transferring and publishing linguistic resources
  • understanding the importance of intergenerational collaboration in reviving languages, and discussing some of the associated challenges
  • discussing the importance of reviving languages for the individual, the language community and the wider Australian society
  • identifying potential avenues/domains for expansion of the language and gaps to be filled, with the support of community language teams and Elders
  • appreciating the role of languages advocacy, education and research in building languages
  • understanding how the process of language-building expands existing linguistic and cultural resources in the Australian community
Investigate and explain techniques used to build language, considering challenges involved and understanding their role as contemporary documenters of language

[Key concepts: language revival, language building, authenticity, linguistic techniques; Key processes: identifying, analysing, discussing] (ACLFWU195 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • identifying and discussing the main areas of the language that could be served by language building
  • analysing the authenticity of historical sources used in language building and discuss the strengths and limitations of these
  • investigating different approaches that have historically been used to record language and what this means for language revival, for example, different spellings, different domains of use, lexical biases
  • understanding challenges in developing new words and structures for the language, and how these words might be developed within the existing resources of the language or by analogy from related languages
  • discussing techniques used to build language, such as analysing historical sources, interviewing/recording existing speakers
  • understanding the orthographic and grammatical choices of the contemporary community
  • considering domains of use where the language may grow in the future
  • trying out ways of making new words under the guidance of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages specialist or of an Elder where appropriate
  • working with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in language-related projects, and contributing to local language records and resources through structured and research-based projects
  • understanding their role as contemporary documenters of the language, for example, listening and transcribing spoken texts, preserving language resources developed at school
  • developing a variety of resources for younger and future students of the language
  • investigating programs and initiatives that serve to maintain and strengthen language use, for example, school languages programs, bilingual education, research programs, recording and archiving material, websites, databases and documentaries
  • exploring the importance of advocacy in supporting the maintenance and development of language and culture

Years 7 to 10 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. They will need to be adapted for use for specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. They 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 10, students use the language to initiate, sustain and extend interactions, and to exchange information about interests, experiences and aspirations. They use spontaneous language wherever possible to participate in activities that involve taking action, collaborating, planning, organising and negotiating. They use culturally appropriate norms and skills, and respect protocols when engaging with and learning from visiting Elders and community members. When interacting in the classroom, they make suggestions, seek clarification, praise or compliment each another. Students use language where possible to locate, analyse and summarise factual information from a range of sources such as historical documents, Elders and community members. They demonstrate their understanding of Country/Place, for example, by explaining the origin, meaning and significance of local place names and features, or by presenting texts and stories about the Country/Place and associated social and cultural events, using language as much as possible and different modes of presentation. Students view, listen to, and share personal responses to a range of texts, such as songs, stories, films and other modes of artistic expression, and demonstrate understanding by identifying and explaining main ideas, key themes and sequences of events. They explain how artistic expression relates to land, water, sea, sky, people, animals, plants and social and ecological relationships. They use expressive language, gestures, and supporting materials to create a range of spoken, written and multimodal texts, for example, art work to convey messages using symbols and techniques appropriate to Country/Place, or narrations of real or imagined journeys involving a variety of characters, places and events. Students apply culturally appropriate and ethical behaviour and lexical and grammatical resources to interpret and translate texts to and from the language; and they explain culture-specific concepts, practices and expressions that do not easily translate. They co-create bilingual texts to inform the wider community about aspects of the language and culture. They reflect on how their own biography shapes their sense of identity and ways of communicating, and discuss the role that language and culture play in the identity and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They explain how particular policies and practices have impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ sense of identity, for example, through language loss and separation from Country/Place, family and community.

Students explain and use the sound system of the language, and a range of available vocabulary sets and grammatical structures when speaking and writing. They use metalanguage to explain sound and writing systems and grammatical structures in the language. They analyse the purpose and role of a range of spoken, written and visual texts, for example, declaring identity, acknowledging ancestors and traditional belief systems, and passing on knowledge and information. Students explain the importance of the kinship system in regulating relationships and behaviour in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. They explain how and why language use is adjusted to suit different social and cultural contexts, purposes and relationships, for example, expressions used with respected kin. They explain how languages change over time and influence one another, for example, by describing the history and impact of contact languages, including creoles, pidgins and Aboriginal Englishes. Students make comparisons between the ecologies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and indigenous languages in other countries, in areas such as language policy and rights, language loss, advocacy and reform, and language revival. They identify the role of language in passing on knowledge, and explain how communities’ ways of thinking, behaving and shaping worldviews influence how language is used. They investigate language revival efforts in their own community and neighbouring regions, and identify resources and processes that are available to build language, for example, lexical and grammatical resources. Students explain protocols for filling language gaps and extending semantic domains, including those required for borrowing from other languages, creating words by analogy and drawing from within existing resources of the language. They explain various techniques that can be used to build language, such as analysing historical sources or interviewing existing speakers, and identify associated challenges. Students reflect on their role as contemporary documenters of language, and recognise the importance of intergenerational collaboration in reviving and maintaining languages.