Community language schools

Community language schools offer language programs outside mainstream school hours, like after hours or on weekends.

Programs are available to students from prep to year 12, depending on language.

The schools allow students to maintain their mother tongue or heritage language. A community language is defined as being used on a daily basis by members of a cultural or linguistic group in Victoria. The language is used to communicate with family members and within their own community.

Community language schools funding program

We give annual funding to support accredited, not-for-profit, community-based organisations delivering language programs to Victorian school-aged students outside school hours.

Use of government school premises

School councils and mainstream school principals are encouraged to make school facilities available to community language schools, outside school hours and at fair and reasonable rates. Schools making their premises available need to cover expenses such as heating, lighting, cleaning and security arrangements.

Use the licence documents below to help reach an agreement about using facilities. School councils should take into account how language schools support languages spoken in the Victorian community.​

Teaching resources

The Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre

This specialist library and support centre provides resources and advice for teachers in the areas of languages, EAL, human rights and multicultural education. Teachers in all Victorian schools, including community language schools, may borrow (at no cost) reference materials and journals, posters, culturally inclusive resources, multimedia resources and materials in over 40 languages.

Languages Online

This free multimedia website contains downloadable game ‘templates’ for students and teachers to create interactive games, in any language, using their own text, pictures and voice recordings. The site also contains over 800 ready-made interactive tasks and worksheets for students learning Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Macedonian, Turkish or Spanish.

Community Languages Australia

This national peak body represents more than 200 community language schools and state-based associations, including the Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria, and provides support, information, advice and professional learning programs.

Training and development

The Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria, in partnership with the Department, provides a number of professional development activities for administrators and community language school teachers throughout the year.

For program details or to register for an activity, see ESAV - Professional Development.

Credit-bearing courses for teachers

These courses are organised by the Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria with funding from the Department. Courses are free for eligible teachers.

Language Teaching Methodology

Community language school teachers who do not have language teaching qualifications recognised in Victoria may apply for 30-hour credit-bearing tertiary courses in language teaching methodology conducted by a range of Victorian universities.

Certificate IV in Community Languages Teaching

This course provides a recognised vocational education qualification, further job and/or educational pathways and an opportunity to network with other teachers working in the sector.​

For more information, see Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria (ESAV).

To register, see ESAV - Teacher Training Courses​.

School accreditation/reaccreditation procedures

The Department has a robust community language schools accreditation process that ensures funded schools have the capacity to provide students with high-quality languages programs that comply with the Department’s requirements and expectations.

Accreditation is usually granted for up to three years. All accredited community language schools must re-apply for accreditation prior to expiry of their current accreditation, usually during their third year of accreditation, to be eligible to apply for the next round of student per capita funding.

Funding support is only available to community language schools that hold current accreditation for funding purposes from the Department. It is the responsibility of each community language school to ensure that their school’s accreditation is current in the year they are applying for funding.

For further information or queries, contact community.languages@edumail.vic.gov.au

Grants

Community language schools funding program - Per capita grants

Our funding Program provides per capita grants to accredited community language schools for each eligible student enrolled at  and attending the school at the end of term 1 of that year.

At the beginning of each school year, we send accredited community language schools information about the funding program application process and timeline for the per capita grants.

Other grants

Victorian Multicultural Commission runs a community grants program to support Victoria's culturally and linguistically diverse communities, especially new and emerging communities. The program aims to develop and sustain local community organisations and programs.

Educational Program Grants are available to support out-of-hours ethnic schools within Victoria.

For information about current grants rounds and eligibility criteria, see Community Language Schools Program Grants.

Find a school

For a list of accredited community language schools in Victoria, see:

Guidelines for parent or guardian complaints

These guidelines are to help parents who wish to make a formal complaint about an accredited community language school:

Get advice

For advice, email: community.languages@edumail.vic.gov.au