K–10Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus
The glossary draws on the NSW syllabus glossaries, the glossaries developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, and the Macquarie Dictionary.
Aboriginal Peoples are the first peoples of Australia and are represented by more than 250 language groups, each associated with a particular Country or territory. Torres Strait Islander Peoples are represented by 5 major island groups, and are associated with island territories to the north of Australia’s Cape York which were annexed by Queensland in 1879.
An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is someone who:
- is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
- identifies as an Aboriginal person and/or Torres Strait Islander person, and
- is accepted as such by the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community(ies) in which they live.
A recognised dialect of English which is the first, or home language, of many Aboriginal people. It differs from other dialects of English, such as Standard Australian English, in systematic ways including sounds, grammar, words and their meanings, and language use. Aboriginal English is a powerful vehicle for the expression of Aboriginal identity. Aboriginal English is not a target language study option for NSW Aboriginal Languages syllabuses.
Texts that describe landscapes and directions of the tracks forged in lands, waters and skies by Creator Spirits during the Dreaming.
A manner of pronunciation of a language which marks speakers as belonging to identifiable categories such as geographical or ethnic origin, social group or generation.
The stress placed on the syllable.
Content for students with significant intellectual disability who are working towards the Early Stage 1 outcomes. Teachers can use the access content points on their own, or in combination with the content for each outcome.
The extent to which a system, environment or object may be used irrespective of a user’s capabilities or abilities. For example, the use of assistive technologies (AT) to allow people with disability to use computer systems, or the use of icons in place of words to allow young children to use a system.
A device or system whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual's functioning and independence to facilitate participation and enhance overall wellbeing. This includes technologies specifically designed to meet an individual's needs, eg eye gaze technology, as well as more general technologies that can be used by anyone, eg speech-to-text applications. Assistive technology can also be referred to as inclusive technology.
Readers, listeners or viewers who engage with a text.
An umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing. AAC can be unaided, such as gestures, body language and sign language, or aided such as pictures, symbols, objects or speech generating devices.
The purposeful interpretation and expression of meaning.
The ways people communicate and the communicative behaviours they use. Communication forms can be non-symbolic and/or symbolic. Non-symbolic forms include sounds, gestures, facial expressions and eye movements. Symbolic forms can be aided or non-aided. Aided forms of symbolic communication include objects, symbols, photographs and drawings. Aided forms can be digital. Non-aided forms of symbolic communication include formal gestures; speech; and signs, such as Key Word Sign.
The reason for which the text is created; the context, purpose and audience enables meaningful communication.
An environment or situation (social, cultural or historical) in which a text is responded to or created. Or wording surrounding an unfamiliar word, which a reader or listener uses to understand its meaning.
The protection provided to the creators of original works and makers of sound recordings and films, that offers a legal framework for the control and reproduction or transmission of their literary, dramatic, artistic or musical works.
Country is used to describe a specific area of a nation or clan including physical, linguistic and spiritual features. Aboriginal communities’ cultural associations with their Country may include or relate to languages, cultural practices, knowledge, songs, stories, art, paths, landforms, flora, fauna and minerals. These cultural associations may include custodial relationships with particular landscapes such as land, sea, sky, rivers as well as the intangible places associated with the Dreaming(s). Custodial relationships are extremely important in determining who may have the capacity to authentically speak for their Country.
Place is a space mapped out by physical or intangible boundaries that individuals or groups of Torres Strait Islander Peoples occupy and regard as their own. It is a space with varying degrees of spirituality.
Develop and/or produce signed, spoken, written or multimodal texts in print, visual, oral or digital forms.
Sources of information used to facilitate comprehension of language that may be visual, grammatical, gestural or contextual.
The customs, habits, beliefs/spirituality, social organisation and ways of life that characterise different groups and communities. Cultural characteristics give a group or individual a sense of who they are and help them make sense of the world in which they live. Culture is a shared system but inherently diverse – there can be individual and group differences within cultures. Everyone has culture – it is a lens through which we see the world.
In Aboriginal communities, an individual charged with maintaining and passing on particular elements of cultural significance, eg language, stories, songs, rituals and imagery.
When referring to deaf people who belong to a linguistic and cultural minority known as the Deaf community, the 'D' may be capitalised in reference to the individual, the group, or the culture in order to accord respect and deference, for example, the Deaf community. When referring simply to audiological status or when cultural affiliation is not known, as in the case of a person with a hearing loss in general, the lowercase 'd', as in 'deaf' is the more common usage.
A cultural identity for people with hearing loss who share a common culture and who usually have a shared sign language.
A variant of a language that is characteristic of a region or social group.
An umbrella term for any or all of the following components:
- impairments: challenges in body function or structure
- activity limitations: difficulties in executing activities
- participation restrictions: challenges an individual may experience in involvement in life situations. (World Health Organization)
Differences that exist within a group, for example, age, sex, gender, gender expression, sexuality, ethnicity, ability/disability, body shape and composition, culture, religion/spirituality, learning differences, socioeconomic background, values and experiences.
The Dreaming has different meanings for different Aboriginal groups. The Dreaming can be seen as the embodiment of Aboriginal creation which gives meaning to everything; the essence of Aboriginal beliefs about creation and spiritual and physical existence. It establishes the rules governing relationships between the people, the land and all things for Aboriginal Peoples. The Dreaming is linked to the past, the present and the future. Where appropriate, refer to Aboriginal names for the Dreaming.
The custodians of knowledge and lore. They are chosen and accepted by their own communities as people who have the permission to disclose cultural knowledge and beliefs. Recognised Elders are highly respected people within Aboriginal communities. Proper consultation with local Aboriginal communities will often direct schools to recognised Elders.
The first language(s) that a person learns to speak.
Words or expressions which are commonly used in fixed patterns and learnt as such without grammatical analysis.
- Once upon a time (story-starter)
A person’s conception and expression of individuality or group affiliation, self-concept and self-representation. It is closely connected to culture and language.
An internationally recognised term for the first peoples of a land. In NSW the term Aboriginal person/Peoples is preferred.
Includes, but is not limited to, objects, sites, cultural knowledge, cultural expression and the arts, that have been transmitted or continue to be transmitted through generations as belonging to a particular Indigenous group or Indigenous people as a whole or their territory.
Non-material assets such as forms of cultural expression that belong to a particular individual or community. Intellectual property rights refer to the rights that the law grants to individuals for the protection of creative, intellectual, scientific and industrial activity, such as inventions.
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A capacity to understand the relationship between language, culture and people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This involves understanding the dynamic and interdependent nature of both language and culture, that communicating and interacting in different languages involves interacting with values, beliefs and experiences as well as with words and grammars. It involves being open to differing perspectives, being, responsive and reflective; being able to de-centre, to look objectively at one’s own cultural ways of thinking and behaving, and at how these affect attitudes to others, shape assumptions and shape behaviours.
The act of translation from one language to another, the process of understanding and explaining.
The pattern or melody of pitch changes in connected speech, especially the pitch pattern of a sentence.
A communication strategy that incorporates signing with speech. It is used to support language development for people with communication difficulties. Although Key Word Sign uses a simplified form of manual signing, it is different to Auslan, as it is not a signed language.
A key aspect of Aboriginal cultures and values. It includes the importance of all relationships and of being related to and belonging to the land.
A structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means of communication of humans, and can be conveyed through speech (spoken language), sign or writing.
An Aboriginal community identified with a common language, both verbal and nonverbal, and with a particular territory. Used in preference to the term ‘tribe’.
The process and range of strategies for increasing knowledge and use of a language that is no longer spoken fluently across all generations in the context of language loss or language dispossession caused by colonisation. Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages are being revived through community initiatives, linguistic research and school programs. ‘Language revival’ may be used as an overarching term that could also include ‘reclamation’, ‘revitalisation’, ’renewal’ and ‘reawakening’.
Includes the sounds, lexicon (vocabulary), grammar and alphabet/script of the language.
A local Aboriginal community is constituted by those people who are Aboriginal and who reside in the near locality. Aboriginal communities will have a rich and diverse history that has been seriously affected by dispossession and relations, which sees families with spiritual connection to Country residing beside those who have been forced to move from other locations. The notion of locality is complex and multilayered: schools should seek advice from a range of people and/or organisations representing local interests.
To change the vocabulary or syntax of a sentence to suit the purpose.
Technical terms used to describe and discuss how language and texts function.
Language that has been modelled or previously taught by the teacher. It can be used by students as a scaffold in structured situations.
A text in which the topic and/or type of text is familiar; however, it may be structurally and/or conceptually more challenging, with greater complexity of language. The text may require students to understand stated and implied meanings.
Any language that is currently in use.
Aboriginal Languages are the oldest continuous languages and as they are still in use today, they are considered modern languages. Many Aboriginal Languages are in various stages of reclamation and revitalisation. Study of an Aboriginal Language in the NSW Curriculum is through Aboriginal Languages syllabuses.
Auslan is the language of the Australian Deaf community and is a visual gestural language. Study of Auslan in the NSW Curriculum is through the Auslan syllabus.
A text that combines 2 or more expressive modes to communicate.
Taking place away from Aboriginal land or Country of origin.
Taking place on Aboriginal land or Country of origin.
Each Aboriginal Language is recognised as belonging to a particular geographical area and thus to the people who can claim a connection to that area. Aboriginal community members acquire ownership of their language(s) at birth. Language proficiency is not essential for ownership.
A text in which the topic and/or type of text is very familiar; it contains mostly familiar language structures, but some unfamiliar language is present. Comprehension strategies may be used in conjunction with knowledge of language to understand the text.
A manner in which a syllable is uttered.
The appropriate ways of behaving, communicating and showing respect for diversity of history and culture. This involves appreciation of the knowledge, standing and status of people within the local Aboriginal community and the school community. Protocols inevitably vary between communities, and between people within a community. In establishing a partnership between schools and Aboriginal communities, it is especially important that protocols are acknowledged and respected.
Process visual or tactile symbols (for example, braille), words or actions in order to derive and/or construct meaning. Reading includes elements of decoding (of sounds and symbols), interpreting, critically analysing and reflecting upon meaning in a wide range of written, visual, print and non-print texts.
Language that has been practised by the student. It is used in structured and familiar situations. Students usually learn the language by heart, for example a role play.
A term used commonly in NSW Aboriginal communities to refer to the way an individual treats others. Showing respect occurs in many ways, such as waiting to speak, listening and demonstrating understanding, not asking too many direct questions, ensuring that people are not made to feel uncomfortable or uneasy, and generally showing regard for others’ ideas, beliefs and culture.
Engaging with a text. ‘Responding’ involves identifying, selecting, describing, comprehending, imagining, interpreting, explaining, analysing and/or evaluating.
A collection of words that conveys a complete thought, typically containing a subject and predicate. A sentence:
- may express a statement, exclamation, command or question
- comprises a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses
- begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, exclamation mark or question mark.
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Hand signs (or hand talk) used to supplement or replace oral language. Signs form part of nonverbal communication for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and may be used by people who are hearing, or d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sign Languages may be used in some areas. Some Sign Languages may be associated with sacred ceremonial practices.
The use of words, graphic designs and/or symbols used to communicate a message, eg information signs, plaques, warning signs, road signs, signs that show direction.
A text in which the vocabulary and language structures are very familiar and straightforward, with mostly simple sentences. Comprehension may be supported by the use of visuals and/or word lists.
Phonological component of the language including intonation, pronunciation and stress.
A relationship between letters or characters and the sounds they make when pronounced.
Communication produced using spoken words and delivered either face-to-face or digitally.
An emphasis in pronunciation that is placed on a particular syllable of a word.
- She will conduct the orchestra.
- Her conduct is exemplary.
A type of assistive technology that enables people with cognitive and/or physical disability to access a range of devices, including computers and communication devices. Switches can be activated by touch, or triggered without contact, such as through eye gaze, sound or blowing.
A letter, figure, or other character or mark, or a combination of letters, used to represent something.
Any written, spoken/signed, nonverbal, visual, auditory or multimodal communication. Texts may be extended unified works, a series of related pieces or a single, simple piece of communication.
Structural or stylistic components that combine to construct meaning and achieve purpose. Can be recognisable as characterising particular types of texts.
A visual item, such as a photograph or drawing; an image.
The way in which language is used and/or interpreted to represent particular thoughts, opinions or perspectives. This includes the authorial voice or the voice of a narrator, character or persona within a text.
Describes the relationship between the action expressed by the verb and the subject/object of the sentence. For example, ‘active voice’ is where the subject performs the action, ‘The cat broke the vase’; ‘passive voice' is where the object is acted upon, ‘The vase was broken by the cat’.
In speaking, a description of the oral production of text.
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A method of visually representing verbal communication, based on an alphabet, characters and/or script.
A text produced using written language. It is one-way information giving, such as a handwritten or digital text.
Yarning circles are an important cultural practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to learn within the collective group. Knowledge and information are shared in harmony and respect with all individuals.