Canberra Academy of Languages – ProgramsLanguages offered to ACT students in Years 11-12
On this pageLanguages offered | Session times and venues | Learning principles | Curriculum | Assessment | Reporting | Policies | Quick links
Languages offeredThe 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:
- Availability of a BSSS-accredited course (see the current list above)
- Sufficient enrolments to fund a teacher's salary and other program costs
- Availability of a suitably qualified teacher
- Absence of comparable ACT programs.
Enrolling for 2018For information about our enrolment process for 2018, please follow this link to the details provided our home page.
Session times and venues
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 sources of student enrolments
- transport options for students
- cultural immersion opportunities and
- venue costs and facilities.
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.
IntroductionThe 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.
- All students are able to learn.
- Learning is a partnership between students and teachers.
- Teachers are responsible for advancing student learning.
- Learning languages provides cognitive, social and functional benefits.
Learning principlesThese learning principles are based on those cited in the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies Course Frameworks.
- Prior knowledge
Learning builds on existing knowledge, understandings and skills and these also contribute to the collective capacity of the learning community.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
Scope of curriculumCurrent 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 languagesIn 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 qualificationsTo ensure effective delivery of the curriculum, teaching staff members are required to have:
- Working with Vulnerable People (WwVP) registration
- Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) registration or Permission to Teach
- Speaking and writing skills in the target language at least equivalent to completion of a university sub-major or minor, or level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- If not a native speaker of English , skills in English equivalent to at least 6.5 overall and 6.0 in each International English Languages Testing System (IELTS) sub-test
- Evidence of a sound understanding of language teaching methodology
- ICT capabilities including the ability to identify suitable authentic source documents in the target language and to curate online learning resources for access by students
Curriculum resourcesCurriculum resources for our programs include the following:
- Our resources repository located at Languages.Org.Au
- Course materials such as Entre Nous, which is used for the French program and which comes with a supporting CD and access to the "Espace Virtuel" online resources at EMDL.fr
- Resources and communications posted to Google Classroom – students use their Canberra Academy of Languages accounts to access this resources space; see the student guide
AssessmentAssessment 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 assessmentFormative 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 assessmentGenerally, 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)
|2||Writing||Week 9 (Sem.1)
Week 8 (Sem.2)
|3||Speaking||Week 16 (Sem.1)
Week 14 (Sem.2)
|1||Writing||Week 18 (Sem.1)
Week 16 (Sem.2)
Teachers participate in BSSS Moderation Days and prepare moderation portfolios as required under BSSS processes.
Assessment rubricsThese are the updated assessment rubrics for 2018.
Assessment Task 1 - Responding, takes place in Q1 and Q3Assessment 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 Q3Assessment 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 Q4Assessment 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 Q4Assessment 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 proceduresBelow is a brief summary. For more information, see the links at the end of this section.
Completion of assessment items
- Students are required to substantially complete and submit all assessment items that contribute to the assessment for a unit unless due cause and adequate evidence is provided.
- Exemption from an item and/or alternative assessment without penalty is available to students providing adequate evidence.
- Unless prior approval is granted, any student who fails to submit assessment tasks worth in total 70% or more of the assessment for the unit is deemed to have voided the unit.
- Late work is subject to a penalty of 5% per day including weekends, unless prior arrangement is made for an extension, supported by evidence of due cause for the extension.
- Moderation is conducted every semester to ensure comparability of grades from different schools.
- Your unit scores are calculated from your results in the assessment items for each unit. These are scaled through small group moderation with scaling group consisting of a comparable cohort for the course area in the ACT system.
- We calculate your course score from your best 80% unit scores. A course score indicates how well you performed in your course compared to all other students in the course's scaling group.
- Assessment tasks must be done without plagiarism. Advice in relation to ownership of work, acknowledgement of sources and plagiarism is outlined on the ACT BSSS website. See below.
- Procedures for appealing a grade or score may be found on the ACT BSSS website. See below.
- What's Moderation
- Scaling and the ATAR
- The ACT Scaling Test (AST)
- Plagiarism and how to avoid it
- Your rights to appeal
- Policy and Procedures Manual (in particular sections 4.3.8 to 4.3.10)
- It is expected that students attend and participate in all scheduled classes/contact time/structured learning activities for the units in which they are enrolled, unless there is due cause and adequate documentary evidence is provided.
- Any student whose attendance falls below 90% of the scheduled classes/contact time or 90% participation in structured learning activities in a unit, without due cause supported by adequate evidence, are deemed to have voided the unit.
ReportingThe 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:
- Mid-semester progress reports, which advise students and their families and home schools of progress in the first half of each semester.
- End of semester reports, which, in addition to the information outlined above, include a grade outcome based on assessment items undertaken throughout the semester.
PoliciesPolicies guiding the delivery of our programs are listed below.
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