About community languages schools

The NSW Community Languages Schools Program offers classes in more than 60 different community languages.

Classes are held outside normal school hours, usually at local government schools and families may be asked to pay a small fee to enrol their child. They are open to any school-aged student attending a NSW government, Catholic or independent school. In NSW more than 38,000 students attend every year.

The NSW Community Languages Schools Program is managed by the Department of Education's School Operations and Performance at 105 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2150. Postal address is Level 11, 105 Phillip St Parramatta NSW 2150.

In NSW almost one third of school students have family ties to a community language other than English. The department helps school students learn and use their own community language - and learn more about their culture - through the NSW Community Languages Schools Program.

Community languages schools can also help students who are preparing for the Higher School Certificate through the Outside Tutor Scheme and students who are learning a new language for the first time.

Every week more than 3,000 community languages school teachers prepare and present lessons in NSW outside normal school hours.

Community languages schools are supported by grants funded by the NSW government but are run by parents and community leaders.

Program benefits

Communities, families and students value the NSW Community Languages Schools Program. The program helps students learn and use another language and connects young Australians to the language, heritage and culture of their community.

It also helps build strong communities and it helps build respect in Australia for our many different cultures.

Host school principal interviews

The Sydney Institute of Community Languages Education (SICLE) with the support of the NSW Department of Education (DoE), Community Languages Schools Program have produced four videos where a number of current NSW DoE principals share their experiences of hosting a Community Languages School (CLS).

The videos represent an open and honest discussion of the implications of engaging with a Community Language School. They explore some of the benefits to students and the school community as well as strategies for managing some of the potential challenges.

The fact that hosting a Community Languages School is far more than a community use agreement is borne out by the views of the principals who share their experiences and stories in these videos. They illustrate some of the unforeseen rewards for students, schools and communities. Engaging with communities in this way can enhance student learning, wellbeing and sense of belonging. Perhaps more importantly by developing this important community partnership a school demonstrates a real commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity.

Connecting with community

Principals discuss the strong relationships they have developed with the community languages school they host. They describe the positive impacts this partnership entails for the students, the school and the community at large.

Connecting with community

Benefits for schools

School principals discuss some of the significant benefits to their school, students and the community at a large that flow from hosting a community language school.

Benefits for schools

Advice to schools

School principals explain how hosting a community language school has enhanced their school culture. They discuss some of the factors that influenced their decision to host a community language school and the way their school community has become richer, stronger and more inclusive as a result.

Advice to schools

Working together

School principals discuss some of the common challenges that may arise when hosting a community language school. They talk about solutions and share some constructive ways of working together with community language schools.

Working together

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  • Teaching and learning

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  • Student Support and Specialist Programs
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