Victorian government and non-government schools are required under legislation and as a condition of their registration with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to provide a curriculum that substantially addresses:
- The Arts
- Health and Physical Education (including Sport)
- Languages other than English
- Studies of Society and Environment
Victorian Government's Vision for Languages Education - released in November 2011, reiterates that the learning program in all Victorian government schools at every year level from Prep (Foundation) to Year 10 will include the study of a language in addition to English by 2025, starting with Prep in 2015.
Schools must therefore provide a languages program for students from Prep to Year 10.
In addition, the Department makes the following recommendations for schools.
Language learning is a sequential and cumulative process. Students learn most effectively through:
- frequent, regular lessons including lessons conducted entirely in the target language
- engagement over an extended period of time
- opportunities to practice and meaningfully use the language they are learning in authentic situations.
Schools should plan a high quality languages program that is:
- be taught by a qualified teacher of the language
- primarily aimed at developing proficiency in the target language
- taught by a qualified teacher of the language
- delivered for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, spread as evenly as possible across the week
- strongly supported by the school community, including by the school administration, staff, parents and students
- resourced to an appropriate level, comparable with other learning areas in the school
- part of a planned pathway for languages learning.
Schools should report student achievement in languages learning against the AusVELS standards for Languages from Year 5 onwards.
Further information to support schools planning quality, sustainable languages programs can be found in the Guide to Starting a Languages Program (pdf - 678.34kb).
Government School Funding
Government schools are funded through their Student Resource Package (SRP) to provide programs in all curriculum areas, including Languages.
Until 2005 supplementary Languages Education funding was included in the SRP as a separate line item and identified as LOTE Funding. This funding supplemented core SRP funding provided for all curriculum areas, to assist schools in meeting the additional costs associated with delivering languages programs.
From 2006 the separate LOTE funding line item was removed, and government schools were provided with 'LOTE funding' as part of the SRP core per student rates and enrolment linked bases.
Principals can access their school’s notional Languages Education report which identifies the pre-2006 supplementary languages education funding for each school at Student Resource Package
Curriculum – The Australian Curriculum in Victoria
The AusVELS is the Foundation (Prep) to Year 10 curriculum which provides a set of prescribed content and common achievement standards that schools can use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
AusVELS uses an eleven level structure to reflect the design of the Australian Curriculum whilst retaining Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning.
The Languages domain is organised into two pathways, the first for students who begin learning a language in primary school and continue to study the same language to Level 10 (eleven levels - Foundation to Level 10) and the second for students who begin learning a language in Year 7 (four levels - Levels 7 to 10).
Curriculum programs must enable assessment and reporting of individual student progress against all the domains of the AusVELS. Formal assessment and reporting of student achievement in Languages against the AusVELS is expected from Year 5. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is responsible for the development of the Australian Curriculum from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. For information on the development of the Australian curriculum for languages, see: ACARA Languages
National policy on languages education
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians − released on 5 December 2008, identifies languages, especially Asian languages, as a key learning area. The Declaration will guide curriculum policy and programs operating in Australian schools.
While languages education in schools is primarily the responsibility of state and territory education authorities, the Australian Government is committed to supporting the teaching and learning of languages, and the understanding of cultures, in Australian schools.