Skip to content

A NSW Government website

Welcome to the NSW Curriculum website

NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority

K–10Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation from 2024
Expand for detailed implementation advice


Syllabus overview

Course requirements

Implementation of the Modern Languages K10 Syllabus is optional in Kindergarten to Year 6.  

Mandatory study of 100 hours in one language is completed in Years 7–10 but preferably in Years 7–8, over one continuous 12-month period. However, students may commence their study of a language at any point along the K–10 continuum.

Course numbers:

Course name200-hour100-hour200-hour
Life Skills
Life Skills
Modern Hebrew890891894895
Modern Greek990991996995

Languages (Stage 5 Mandatory): 4070

Exclusions: Students may not access Life Skills outcomes and other outcomes from the same subject.

Organisation of Modern Languages K–10

The diagram (Figure 1) is an overview of the Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus. It shows that:

  • communication is the central goal in language learning
  • the 3 focus areas are interacting, understanding texts and creating texts
  • knowledge of language systems is applied in all focus areas and is an essential part of communication
  • intercultural capability is the capacity to exchange, understand and create meaning between people and across languages and cultures and is developed in all focus areas.
Course overview diagram for the Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus.
Figure 1: Overview of Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus structure

Image long description: The diagram shows 'Communication' encompassing the focus areas of Interacting, Understanding texts and Creating texts. Below the 3 focus areas are the headings 'Applying knowledge of language systems' and 'Developing intercultural capability'.

Access content points

Access content points have been developed to support students with significant intellectual disability who are working towards Early Stage 1 outcomes. These students may communicate using verbal and/or nonverbal forms.

For each of the Early Stage 1 outcomes, access content points are provided to indicate content that students with significant intellectual disability may access as they work towards the outcomes. Teachers will use the access content points on their own, or in combination with the content for each outcome. If students are able to access outcomes in the syllabus they should not require the access content points.

Life Skills outcomes and content

Students with disability can access the syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Some students with intellectual disability may find the Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5. Before determining whether a student is eligible to undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 outcomes, or prior stage outcomes if appropriate. This assistance may include a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the same subject. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

Balance of content

The amount of content associated with a given outcome is not necessarily indicative of the amount of time spent engaging with the respective outcome. Teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine instructional priorities and the time needed for students to demonstrate expected outcomes.

The content groups are not intended to be hierarchical. They describe in more detail how the outcomes are to be interpreted and demonstrated, and the intended learning appropriate for the stage. In considering the intended learning, teachers make decisions about the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular groups of content based on the needs and abilities of their students.

Syllabus framework

The Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus is organised as a framework that can be used to teach any modern language in New South Wales. A modern language refers to any language that is currently in use. There are separate syllabuses for Aboriginal Languages, Auslan and Classical Languages.

Macro skills

There are 4 macro skills, also known as language modes: listening, speaking, reading and writing. They are related to focus areas as shown in the table below.

Focus Area
Macro skills


Understanding texts*

Creating texts

* The response to texts can be in the target language or English.

For some students with disability, teachers will need to consider appropriate adjustments to speaking, listening, reading, writing and communication experiences in the context of the Modern Languages K–10 Syllabus.

Representation of language systems and culture

The syllabus content is organised to show that knowledge of language systems and culture is required to communicate across all 3 focus areas as shown in the table below.

Focus Area
Language  systems


Sound systemVocabularyGrammatical systemWriting system*

Understanding texts

Creating texts

* It is the intention of the syllabus that spoken interactions are prioritised; however, written interactions can occur where appropriate.

Learner proficiency

Students come to the learning of languages with diverse linguistic and cultural profiles. This may include a heritage in a particular language and/or a range of prior language experiences, either in the target language or another language.   

Proficiency levels recognise what the student can do in the target language. Examples have been provided for each stage to support students learning the language at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels, where relevant.