The study of a language in Stage 6 enables students to develop skills in the areas of communication, intercultural understanding, literacy, cognitive and social development and general knowledge. It also helps to deepen students' understanding and appreciation of the diverse attitudes within the wider Australian community and beyond. In Stage 6, there are 34 languages offered.
Language study in Stage 6
There are up to 5 courses of study available in languages at Stage 6 level:
- [Language] in Context
- [Language] and Literature.
Student eligibility for each course can be accessed on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) eligibility criteria for Stage 6 Languages website.
Note: Not all languages have all 5 courses available.
The Stage 6 language syllabuses are available on the NESA HSC Languages page.
Visit our professional learning page if you'd like to enrol in our Stage 6 school-based assessment in languages eCourse.
Due to the number of HSC language courses available and smaller candidature sizes, the HSC hub for Languages provides advice documents for each of the course levels.
Professional teacher associations, foreign government agencies and universities have provided support for many language courses.
We have language-specific support available here – access the language and course level from the left-hand menu to find:
- practice speaking questions for most Beginners and Continuers courses
- sample listening and reading activities for most Beginners and Continuers courses.
For collegial discussions with other teachers and advice from the Languages and Culture team, please join our Languages NSW (7-12) virtual statewide staffroom on Yammer (staff only).
Other options for language study
Saturday School of Community Languages
Saturday School of Community Languages offers students in Years 7-12 from government and non-government high schools the opportunity to study their background language if it is not available for study in their weekday school.
The school operates on Saturdays during the school term in 14 centres located in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.
Distance education – single subject language provision
If a language is not available for study at a student's home school, students in Years 9-12 enrolled at either a government or non-government high school can study a language via distance mode learning through a specialist distance education school.
The NSW Department of Education has 5 distance education schools located across NSW which offer students in Years 9-12, subject to quota restrictions, the opportunity to study a language as a single subject if it is not available to study at their registered school.
The distance education schools providing single subject language provision:
- Camden Haven High School Distance Education (Port Macquarie)
- Dubbo School of Distance Education (Dubbo)
- Finigan School of Distance Education (Queanbeyan)
- NSW School of Languages (Petersham)
- Southern Cross School of Distance Education (Ballina).
Join us in our virtual statewide staffroom
Our virtual statewide staffroom has over 550 language teachers connecting with each other – asking questions, and sharing ideas and resources. You can also access direct support from the Languages and Culture team and search over 280 teacher-contributed resources for Stages 4-6.
You can access our staffroom through Yammer, the Department of Education's social media platform, under 'My applications' in the portal.
Search for the Languages NSW (7-12)External link group and then simply join the group.
Support for head teachers
Our head teacher support document (DOCX 1.7MB) assists non-languages trained head teachers and executive who supervise teachers of languages. It is also essential reading for all language teachers 7-12 in NSW public schools.
The document provides comprehensive advice on:
- the place of languages in the NSW curriculum
- programs and pathways 7-12
- K-10 curriculum structure
- assessment and reporting
- Stage 6 courses and eligibility requirements
- resourcing and advocacy
- where to access support.