Canberra Academy of Languages – Programs

Languages offered to ACT students in Years 11-12

Now enrolling for 2018

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Languages offered | Session times and venues | Learning principles | Curriculum | Assessment | Reporting | Policies | Quick links

Languages offered sequence

The Canberra Academy of Languages delivered courses in Continuing French and Advanced French in 2017. Our students were highly successful. We have a class running in 2018 for Continuing/Advanced French.

In 2018, we are delivering the ACT BSSS Continuing and Advanced French units The Individual's Experience in Semester 1 and Society and Community in Semester 2. These are suitable for Year 11 students with language competency at least sufficient for entry at continuing level, or for Year 12 students who have not previously studied the units. We are publishing resources for these, including unit outlines, on our Languages.Org.Au website.

We offered French, German and Indonesian for 2019. We are still, as of November 2018, open to expressions of interest for French and German. Please see our home page for information about enrolment enquiries. Language courses offered by the Canberra Academy of Languages for students in Years 11-12 are selected from those endorsed by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. For details of courses currently endorsed by BSSS, see the list of courses on the BSSS website. Courses with BSSS accreditation currently include Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

Work is also under way to develop a course in Indigenous language and culture. If this course receives BSSS accreditation within a suitable time-frame , we will include it in the programs offered for 2020. Future course writing may also include Arabic and Greek. Our programs complement existing senior secondary provisions in languages in the ACT and the academy maintains regular communication with students' day schools.

We finalise decisions on classes to run each year on the basis of four criteria:

Enrolling for 2018

For information about our enrolment process for 2018, please follow this link to the details provided our home page.

Session times and venues sequence

The academy generally conducts classes from 5 pm to 7 pm, to enable participants to commute from their day schools after completing other classes. Students have a two-hour session of face-to-face instruction each week during teaching weeks and they have two hours of programmed offsite work per week, supported by online resources. As for 2017, our face-to-face sessions are scheduled in 2018 for Wednesday evenings.

Teaching spaces are hired as required for delivery of programs by the academy. Each school or college campus or other location at which teaching spaces are hired is designated as a teaching centre of the academy. Decisions on teaching spaces take into account:

The academy's inaugural teaching centre in 2017 was at University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra. In 2018, our registration evening in Week 1 was held at Civic Library, next to Canberra's main transport hub. The venue for our 2018 CAL French program is the Alliance Francaise, on Wednesdays from 5 pm to 7 pm. See the news item for 14 February 2018 on our news page.

Learning principles sequence

Introduction

The learning principles of the Canberra Academy of Languages provide a framework for staff members, students and families to promote a positive context for learning. These learning principles also support the purposes of the academy, as outlined in the statement of intent.

Underpinning beliefs

Learning principles

These learning principles are based on those cited in the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies Course Frameworks.
  1. Prior knowledge
    Learning builds on existing knowledge, understandings and skills and these also contribute to the collective capacity of the learning community.
  2. Deep knowledge and connectedness
    When learning is organised around major concepts, principles and significant real world issues, within and across disciplines, it helps students make connections and build knowledge structures and promotes authentic learning and student enterprise.
  3. Metacognition
    Learning is facilitated when students actively monitor their own learning and consciously develop ways of organising and applying knowledge within and across contexts. In a dynamic context of continuing social, technological and economic change, learning how to learn is an important focus of educational programs, alongside content knowledge.
  4. Self-concept
    Learners' sense of self and motivation to learn affects learning. A sense of self-efficacy among learners is a significant facilitator of progress in learning.
  5. High expectations
    Learning needs to take place in a context of high expectations. It is essential that these expectations are framed in the context of positive, respectful relationships among students and staff members. (For a discussion on the relationships aspect of this learning principle, see the Stronger Smarter Institute Position Paper on High-Expectations Relationships.)
  6. Individual differences
    Learners learn in different ways and at different rates. The role of the academy is to ensuring that there is a positive learning effect, reflected in measurable progress for each student. For students with disabilities, reasonable adjustments are required to facilitate equity in access and participation (refer to the Disability Standards for Education).
  7. Socio-cultural effects
    Different cultural environments, including the use of language, shape learner' understandings and the way they learn. These also enrich the learning setting by bringing contributions from different perspectives to collaborative learning processes.
  8. Collaborative learning
    Learning is a social and collaborative function as well as an individual one. This learning principle is closely related to each of the preceding learning principles and is directly connected to the second underpinning belief listed above..
  9. Explicit expectations and feedback
    Learning is strengthened when learning outcomes and criteria for judging learning are made explicit and when students receive frequent feedback on their progress. While summative assessment, or assessment of learning, is required as evidence in delivering senior secondary qualifications, formative assessment, or assessment for learning, is essential in informing and adjusting the delivery of learning programs.

Curriculum sequence

Scope of curriculum

Current curriculum options offered by the Canberra Academy of Languages encompass existing Type 2 language courses, developed under the ACT BSSS Languages Course Framework, for which there is sufficient demand. This complements opportunities that are available through the school system for students to continue studies in languages that they have undertaken in Years 7-10. For details about French resources and programs, see our companion website Languages.Org.Au. In the longer term, the academy may also collaborate in developing additional courses, such as the course in Aboriginal languages of the Canberra region, on which work is currently in progress.

Indigenous languages

In May 2017, the CAL Convener contacted the Executive Director of the ACT BSSS to propose the writing of a course framework for Indigenous languages of the Canberra region, supported by comparative study of a more fully documented language such as Yolngu matha. ACT BSSS advised that it was preferred that new programs be developed under existing course frameworks. In July 2017, the convener sent an updated proposal that a course be written under the existing languages course framework, on the basis that such a course would necessarily differ in some ways from existing courses written under that framework, because of the nature of existing resources for Indigenous languages and the opportunity to include a focus on comparative linguistics and language revival.

The need for an Indigenous languages program as part of secondary education in the Canberra region is self-evident. Indigenous languages have been in use in the Canberra region for many thousands of years. The study of these languages is a powerful way connect to the traditional communities and cultures of this region. It is a valuable pursuit for learners of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds. It contributes, as well, to the maintenance and expansion of a skills and knowledge base in the region, which in turn strengthens the awareness and presence of traditional languages and cultures in the region. Inclusion of Indigenous languages in the senior secondary curriculum broadens opportunities for participation in this field of study. Education can play a vital role in facilitating access to language learning and supporting language revival and maintenance.

We were pleased that the course writing proposal was endorsed. ACT BSSS convened a writing panel and work commenced in Term 4 of 2017 on course development. After input from a range of expert advisors, the writers completed a one-page outline of a four-unit course in October 2017. In 2018, consultation is under way with the United Ngunnawal Elders Council (UNEC), which provides advice to the ACT Government on heritage and connection to land matters for the Ngunnawal people. We look forward to ongoing work to develop a program that will be available for students in Years 11-12.

Teacher qualifications

To ensure effective delivery of the curriculum, teaching staff members are required to have:

Curriculum resources

Curriculum resources for our programs include the following:

Assessment sequence

Assessment procedures follow the guidelines provided in BSSS-accredited courses for Years 11-12 and in other BSSS publications as described below. As outlined in the Statement of Learning Principles, there are two key dimensions of assessment. These are formative assessment and summative assessment.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment, also described as assessment for learning, is designed to provide students, teachers, families and educational leaders of the academy with information in real time about progress towards learning goals outlined in the course documents. Formative assessment strategies are to be used in gauging whether expected progress is occurring, so that adjustments can be made if necessary in the delivery of learning programs and opportunities can be taken that reflect the capacities of particular classes and individuals.

Formative assessment is undertaken within the first fortnight of each year as a benchmark indicator and is compared with summative assessment outcomes at the end of each semester, to inform ongoing teaching programs. Data from these processes is shared with individual students, their families, their home schools and educational leaders of the academy.

Summative assessment

Generally, required assessment task types for current Type 2 BSSS courses in languages are Responding in the Understanding strand and Speaking and Writing in the Communicating strand, with a minimum of 25% of the unit total mark for each task type. Marks are recorded in BSSS Markbook. Generally, the assessment schedule for each unit offered by the academy comprises:

Task Task Type Approximate timing Weighting
1 Responding Week 7 (Sem.1)
Week 6 (Sem.2)
30%
2 Writing Week 9 (Sem.1)
Week 8 (Sem.2)
15%
3 Speaking Week 16 (Sem.1)
Week 14 (Sem.2)
30%
1 Writing Week 18 (Sem.1)
Week 16 (Sem.2)
25%
Students' teacher-allocated unit scores are scaled either through a small-group moderation process by BSSS small-group moderators in the case of a small cohort within CAL, or across all CAL language groups when the CAL cohort is of sufficient size to generate meaningful rankings in the cohort. The resulting course scores from courses completed with CAL contributes to students' ATAR if they are one of their best four course scores, along with course scores from courses they undertake at their home schools.

Teachers participate in BSSS Moderation Days and prepare moderation portfolios as required under BSSS processes.

Assessment rubrics

These are the updated assessment rubrics for 2018.

Assessment Task 1 - Responding, takes place in Q1 and Q3

Assessment rubric for the Advanced Languages responding task Year 12 (AT1, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the Advanced Languages responding task Year 11 (AT1, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the Continuing Languages responding task Year 12 (AT1, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the Continuing Languages responding task Year 11 (AT1, takes place in Q1 and Q3)

Assessment Task 2 - Writing (3 short answer questions), takes place in Q 1 and Q3

Assessment rubric for the first Advanced Languages writing task Year 12 (AT2, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the first Advanced Languages writing task Year 11 (AT2, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the first Continuing Languages writing task Year 12 (AT2, takes place in Q1 and Q3)
Assessment rubric for the first Continuing Languages writing task Year 11 (AT2, takes place in Q1 and Q3)

Assessment Task 3 - Speaking, takes place in Q2 and Q4

Assessment rubric for the Advanced Languages speaking task Year 12 (AT3, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the Advanced Languages speaking task Year 11 (AT3, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the Continuing Languages speaking task Year 12 (AT3, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the Continuing Languages speaking task Year 11 (AT3, takes place in Q2 and Q4)

Assessment Task 4 - Writing (one extended answer question), takes place in Q2 and Q4

Assessment rubric for the second Advanced Languages writing task Year 12 (AT4, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the second Advanced Languages writing task Year 11 (AT4, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the second Continuing Languages writing task Year 12 (AT4, takes place in Q2 and Q4)
Assessment rubric for the second Continuing Languages writing task Year 11 (AT4, takes place in Q2 and Q4)

ACT BSSS assessment procedures

Below is a brief summary. For more information, see the links at the end of this section.

Completion of assessment items

Late submission of work Moderation, calculation of unit scores and course scores Plagiarism Details about assessment procedures for senior secondary courses in the ACT are provided on the ACT BSSS website in the following documents: Attendance/Participation

Reporting sequence

The audience for reporting includes students, parents and students’ home schools. Reports provide ratings for outcomes based on the course framework achievement standards and an evaluation of work undertaken by the student. Reports are designed to be informative specifically about the work of each student. Attendance is summarised in terms of scheduled hours and hours attended or exempted. There are two stages of reporting for each semester:

Policies sequence

Policies guiding the delivery of our programs are listed below.

Last updated sequence

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