Legislation requires languages to be taught in line with the applicable curriculum. Below is an explanation of the source and nature of this legislative requirement and how it applies to Victorian schools. It is a Victorian legislative requirement for schools to substantially address eight learning areas and one of those areas is ‘languages’ (the other seven are: English; mathematics; sciences; humanities and social sciences; the arts; health and physical education and; information and communication technology, and design and technology). The requirement is sourced in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and enforced through the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). Curriculum in each learning area must be delivered through Victorian Curriculum. Currently, in Victoria, Victorian Curriculum and assessment autority is the model through which the victorian curriculum is implemented.
It retains Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning. In our new Victorian curriculum, the languages domain has two dimensions: communicating in a language other than English and intercultural knowledge and language awareness. It is silent on which learning models should be used to deliver these aspects of the languages domain. This means that schools have flexibility in terms of the language learning models, i.e. learning languages may occur through different types of programmes: language-as-a- subject programmes, content-based programmes, and various types of immersion/bilingual programmes (which sees the use of two languages in instruction). Extra-curricula language learning can also be facilitated through schools, e.g. by way of partnerships. The Victorian Curriculum is still being developed by the education authority, named the Victorian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. The Victorian Curriculum for Languages includes the development of language-specific curricula and a Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages. It is anticipated that some of the language-specific curriculum will be published late 2013. It has been signaled by the Victorian Government that all schools implement a Languages Program consistent with the above by 2015.
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