Languages education should be included in a school's strategic plan prepared during the year of self-evaluation, review and planning, and/or in its Annual Implementation Plan.
School languages policy
Schools need to develop a policy statement which sets out the nature of the languages program to be provided. The actual preparation work will often be undertaken by a school languages committee, which may be a sub-committee of the council.
A typical languages policy will include a rationale, information about the language(s) to be taught, objectives, provision and review arrangements.
This section could include:
- Victorian and national policy statements
- legislative requirements for Victorian schools to provide languages education
- the Department's curriculum recommendations
- rationale for the selection of a particular language or languages
- benefits of languages learning for students
The objectives of the languages program need to be clearly stated. The objectives must include learning objectives and assessment practices consistent with the Victorian Curriculum F-10 Languages.
Other objectives may also include educational and community aims, such as:
- enabling students to experience continuity in languages learning from early childhood and/or primary school years into senior secondary schooling
- building stronger links with the school community or broader regional interests (for example, students could study the language of a country that the local community conducts business with on a regular basis, such as a rural and farming community which exports farm produce to Indonesia)
- maintaining students' heritage languages
The arrangements for the languages program should be clearly outlined, recognising that the principal and staff are responsible for the implementation of the program within the school. This section of the policy may include:
- the type of program to be offered, including the use of Information and Communication Technology to support languages teaching and learning
- the year levels involved
- staffing of the program
- plans for extending the program throughout the school
- arrangements to provide authentic language experiences for students, such as through a sister school relationship or links with speakers of the language in the school and local community
- opportunities for integrating the languages program with other areas of the school curriculum
- the weekly contact time for language instruction and the frequency of language lessons across the year levels
- collaborative arrangements with other schools
- scope and sequence planning across the year levels
- assessment processes and practices
- professional development for languages teachers
The school languages policy should include plans for regular review and a commitment to evaluate the program, consistent with the evaluation of other learning areas and in line with school improvement processes.