Leading languages 7-12

Support for leaders and aspiring leaders of languages 7-12 with advice and resources to develop their planning, organisation and communication when leading a faculty.

Through learning languages, students engage in purposeful communication and reflect on the heritage, culture and identity of themselves and others. The study of one or more additional languages strengthens literacy skills in a student’s first language, and supports participation in the global community.

Support for head teachers

Support for language teachers and head teachers supervising language teachers (DOCX 5.8MB) 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
  • resourcing and advocacy
  • programs and pathways 7-12
  • K-10 curriculum structure
  • assessment and reporting
  • Stage 6 courses and eligibility requirements
  • where to access support.

Language study in Stages 4 and 5

The study of 100 hours of one language over one continuous 12-month period is mandatory between Years 7-10, but preferably in Years 7-8 (Stage 4).

Students may also elect a language course in Stage 5.

Language study in Stage 6

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.

There are up to 5 courses of study available in languages at Stage 6 level:

  • Beginners
  • Continuers
  • Extension
  • [Language] in Context
  • [Language] and Literature.

Note – not all languages have all 5 courses available.

Student eligibility for each course can be accessed on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) eligibility criteria for Stage 6 Languages.

HSC monitoring

Visit our Stage 6 monitoring and support page to learn about HSC monitoring.

Assessment in Stage 6

Information on school-based assessment requirements, principles of assessment, assessment in practice and awarding grades can be accessed on NESA's Assessment in Stage 6 page.

Life Skills courses in Stage 6

Schools with eligible students can develop a School Developed Board Endorsed Course for a Stage 6 Life Skills course in any language.

Applications for these courses are submitted to NESA via Schools Online.

Objectives, outcomes and modules are pre-filled in the application form. Schools determine the topics they will deliver (in relation to the modules provided) and the content that will be taught in each topic (suggested content is provided in supporting documentation attached to the application form).

The objectives and outcomes within the application are based on the Stage 6 Beginners Languages courses.

Once endorsed, the course can be delivered by the school and count as 2 units towards a student’s pattern of study.

For more details, including timelines for applications, refer to the NESA website.

Other options for language study

If a particular language course is not available at your school, students can access language courses via Secondary College of Languages (formerly Saturday School of Community Languages), if eligible, or via distance education, including NSW School of Languages.

Secondary College of Languages

Secondary College of 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.

Distance education schools providing single subject language provision:

Syllabus information

An overview of the pedagogical changes and whole school considerations to support school leaders’ understanding of what has changed for the languages syllabus.

Return to top of page Back to top