Staffing

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Normal recruitment and employment processes apply for teachers of languages. A languages program must be planned and delivered by a fully qualified Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registered teacher of the language.

Depending on the circumstances, a language teacher who has VIT Permission to Teach may be employed.

  • For more information, see: VIT - Permission to teach
  • For information about employment in Victorian government schools including a link to the online job search and application tool, Recruitment Online, see: Careers
  • For links provided by the Modern Language Teachers' Association of Victoria about employment as a Languages teacher, see: Employment links

The Language Teacher Register assists schools find qualified language teachers to fill vacant language teaching positions in government schools. The register is open to graduating, graduate and currently employed language teachers who are seeking a language teaching position in a government primary or secondary school. Eligible language teachers can register using the 'SurveyMonkey' online form. See: Language teacher register

Relevant language-specific teacher association or Languages Regional Project Officer may be able to help to connect schools with qualified languages teachers who are looking for employment or who live in the local area. For contact details, see: Professional learning

The Victorian School of Languages or Community Languages Australia may be able to assist with identifying a qualified languages teacher or a teacher who can get permission to teach from VIT whilst they are upgrading their qualifications to get full VIT registration.

For more information, see:

Further options for identifying languages teachers

If a fully qualified teacher is not immediately available, government school principals should explore the range of incentives and scholarships the Department offers to attract final year teaching students and recent graduates to join the Victorian teaching service and teach in government schools. In addition, Principals should be aware that Languages is a designated 'Hard to staff' subject area, which provides additional incentive payments under the Teaching Scholarship Scheme. See: Scholarships and incentives

Languages teaching qualifications

The VIT website sets out the qualifications which teachers of specialist subject areas such as languages are expected to hold. These consist of two elements – specialist subject knowledge and teaching methodology.

In addition to general teaching qualifications, the recommended qualifications for teaching languages in Victorian government schools are:

  • a three-year, post-Year 12 major in the language, or four years of tertiary language study in a beginners' stream, or a Statement of Equivalence (for language proficiency at Third Year exit level) from a Victorian university which teaches the language
  • an approved languages methodology course (including both theory and practicum). Secondary teachers who were employed in government schools before the beginning of the 1996 school year are considered qualified to teach a language if they had completed a post-year 12 language sub major

Statement of equivalence

Procedures have been developed by the Department in conjunction with Victorian universities to enable universities to assess the oral and written language proficiency of potential teachers, and their understanding of the relevant society, culture and literature. The criteria for judgement are equivalent to those used for assessing students exiting third year, post Year 12 tertiary level. See:

The assessment is only relevant to persons interested in becoming languages teachers; it is not an alternative means of gaining eligibility for academic awards or teaching qualifications. The assessment does not relate to the language method and practicum requirement.

Prospective candidates need to contact the university of their choice to arrange an assessment. Any costs involved will be the responsibility of the candidate. Upon the completion of the assessment, the university will provide the applicant with the results. The applicant should retain the assessment record for use in providing evidence of language proficiency for registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), to prospective employers, or for entry to relevant courses.

For more information, see:

Teacher retention

Principals and school leadership need to be aware that languages teachers often feel isolated or that they are the lone voice in support of languages education within a school. Languages teachers have a particular need for opportunities for professional development, to have peer support and interaction and feel supported (their programs are resourced, and they receive positive feedback from students, parents or the school leadership).

There are several ways to address this issue:

  • promote the skills, knowledge and work of your languages teachers
  • ensure languages teachers have access to opportunities for professional development and networking
  • recognise and address their unique issues, such as the high number of students they teach and the number of reports they are required to write
  • encourage teachers to form professional relationships with like teachers in other schools through professional development or joint classroom projects
  • provide buddy or mentoring programs to support the work of the teacher
  • encourage teachers to seek support from their local language community
  • celebrate the achievements of the languages program at a whole school level