Community language schools

Community language schools provide language programs to school-aged children (foundation to year 12), after school or on weekends.

These community-based, not-for-profit organisations offer programs in over 45 languages which allow children to learn or maintain their mother tongue or heritage language.

There are currently 181 accredited community language schools.

The Victorian School of Languages and Community Language Schools (CLS) can resume on-site learning for all students. Mixing of students from different schools/educational facilities is no longer restricted.

All CLS returning to on-site provision should operate in accordance with the COVIDSafe principles for schools and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advice. Visit health and safety advice for all Victorian schools for more information.

Find an accredited community language school

For a list of accredited community language schools, see:

Funding available for community language schools

There are two options for funding for community language schools.

Community language schools funding program

Annual funding is available through our community language school funding program. The funding is designed to support the delivery of language programs and can cover costs such as:

  • teacher salaries
  • curriculum resources
  • rent and other costs

Accreditation and funding

To apply for funding under this program, community language schools must apply for accreditation.

Accreditation is usually granted for up to three years, after which time schools must apply to be reaccredited.

Per capita funding will only be provided on behalf of eligible school-aged students who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or hold temporary visas. Full fee paying international students on visa subclass 500 will not be funded.

Contact to find out how to apply for accreditation.

Victorian Multicultural Commission community grants program

The Victorian Multicultural Commission's community grants program supports culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including new and emerging communities.

New, non-accredited community language schools can apply for funding support through the Capacity building and participation grants program.

Use of government school premises

Government schools are encouraged to make their premises and facilities available to community language schools to conduct their language programs at fair and reasonable cost.

Community language schools should use the following School Council licence agreement when entering into rental agreements with government schools:

Training for community language school teachers

Community Languages Australia/Ethnic Schools Association of Victoria (ESAV) is the peak body which represents community language schools in Victoria. It provides advice and professional learning programs, including the following credit-bearing teacher training courses for community language school member teachers and administrators:

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.

Resources for community language schools

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 Languages Online 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.

Guidelines for parent or guardian complaints

Parents or guardians who wish to make a formal complaint about an accredited community language school should refer to the following guidelines:

Get advice

For advice, email: