Planning, programming and assessing languages K-6

Resources to support you with implementing the languages syllabuses.

Modern Languages K-10 Syllabus (2022)

Implementation of the Modern Languages K-10 Syllabus is optional in Kindergarten to Year 6.

Mandatory study of 100 hours in one language is completed in Years 7-10 but preferably in Years 7-8, over one continuous 12-month period. However, students may commence their study of a language at any point along the K-10 continuum.

About the languages syllabuses (2017-2023)

This animation outlines the K-10 languages syllabuses for primary language teachers.

You will learn:

  • how to access the syllabus
  • changes from previous syllabuses
  • the structure of the syllabuses
  • how to use the syllabuses to develop effective language teaching programs.

Watch Understanding the languages syllabuses (2019) (5:46)

Languages K-6 curriculum support


[uplifting music]

The NSW Languages K-10 Syllabuses were developed by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA). The development of these languages syllabuses was guided by three key documents: the Languages K-10 Framework, the Australian Curriculum document for each specific language and the previous NSW language syllabuses.

Languages are dynamic and our knowledge about how students learn a language is always developing. The Languages K-10 Syllabuses present a holistic view of language learning and explore deeply the role of language and culture in society.

There were a number of important changes made to the languages syllabuses. These include the addition of two strands: communicating and understanding.

Objectives sit below these strands. These objectives include: interacting, accessing and responding and composing, which sit under the communicating strand. Systems of language and the role of language and culture which sit under the understanding strand.

Outcome codes help teachers better identify the language, stage, outcome number and strand of a particular syllabus outcome. In the course content of each syllabus, a section titled 'Content for students with prior learning and/or experience' is also included.

The K-10 Languages Syllabuses can be accessed via the NESA website under the heading Kindergarten to Year 10, learning areas, languages. Scrolling down the page, you will see the syllabus for each language presented under the heading 'Board developed courses'. The syllabuses are presented on the right-hand side of the page, next to a course description. As an example, we will explore the Indonesian K-10 Syllabus by selecting 'Go to syllabus'.

Scrolling down the page, you will find the various sections of the syllabus. It is important that teachers take the time to familiarise themselves with these sections. You can also download a copy of the syllabus as a PDF or Word document if you prefer.

We will spend some time exploring the 'Course content' section of the Indonesian K-10 Syllabus. We will look at Stage 2. Communicating: Interacting. At the top of the page, you will notice the strand (communicating) and the objective (interacting) are clearly defined.

Listed below this heading are the outcomes which are mandated by NESA. Derived from the syllabus objectives, these outcomes act as key reference points for decisions about student learning, progress and achievement. These outcomes also indicate the knowledge, understanding and skills that are expected to be developed by most students by the end of a stage.

This particular course content has only one outcome: Interacts with others to share information and participate in classroom activities in Indonesian. The outcome code is also listed to the right of the outcome.

Below the outcomes, you will find content dot points and dash points related to each outcome. These content dot points describe the intended learning appropriate for the selected stage.

The content dash points below provide suggested teaching and learning opportunities that might be used in the classroom to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills of the curriculum area. It is important to note that schools have flexibility to make decisions about these content dash points including the selection of content and any adjustments that might be required.

Scrolling down, you will see a section of course content titled 'Content for students with prior learning and/or experience'. This section allows teachers to more effectively differentiate their teaching and learning experiences to meet the needs of students who already have some familiarity with the language.

At the bottom of each course content page, you will also find a selection of support materials including sample scope and sequences. These resources can vary between languages so teachers are encouraged to explore resources from other languages and adapt for their own purposes.

The Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 languages page on the NSW Department of Education website contains additional support materials for languages teachers including units of work, programming resources and scope and sequences.

If you require additional information about the Languages K-10 Syllabuses, please contact the Languages Curriculum Support team.

[uplifting music]

End of transcript

Programming languages K-6 Syllabus

The sample planning proforma (DOCX 57KB) can be used to plan a languages unit for any stage of learning K-10.

Assessing languages K-6 Syllabus

Advice on assessing languages K-6 – Resources to support primary language teachers in their use of evidence-based assessment practices, including the five elements of effective assessment practice.


Visit our catalogue to access all languages K-6 resources including learning sequences (2-week programs).

Chatterbox unit starter – include the Chatterbox unit starter in a task-based language learning unit of work as an activity to practise language for an upcoming task. It can also be used as an end-of-semester revision activity.

Languages K-10 framework – resource

Interactive resources

Content and language integrated learning

Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) outlines a pedagogical approach to learning a language through content from other key learning areas.

Embedding Aboriginal pedagogies into language programs K-6

These resources support language teachers to embed Aboriginal pedagogies into their teaching. The resources make connections between the Aboriginal processes described in the 8 Ways pedagogical framework and language teaching pedagogy.

NESA advice

K-10 language syllabuses and support documentation including units are available from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Return to top of page Back to top