Australian English Curriculum: Access its Important Highlights and Understand its Features

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english for australian curriculum

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The Australian English Curriculum includes literature study, facilitating effective communication in written and verbal modes. Edulyte’s blog showcases the subject’s vital strands and provides. insights into English for Australian Curriculum Version 9.

What is English in the Australian Curriculum?

English language study is central to the learning and development of students in Australia. It is essential in honing literacy and reading skills, enabling children to succeed in educational, professional and personal fields.

As per the aims of English in the Australian Curriculum, the discipline ensures that students:

  • Learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • Appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and create an informed appreciation of literature.

What are the three strands of the English Australian Curriculum?

The English Australian Curriculum is built on 3 interrelated strands: language, literature and literacy. Australian schools’ teaching and learning programs balances and integrates the 3 strands. The strands focus on:

  • developing students’ knowledge, 
  • developing understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. 

The place for English in the Australian curriculum is essential. It builds on concepts and skills developed in earlier years. Teachers revisit and strengthen these as needed.

Language strand:

In the Australian Curriculum, the English language strand aims to develop the English knowledge of the students. They realise the patterns and purposes of English usage: spelling, grammar and punctuation, and they study the connections between these levels. In addition, they become aware of the growth of English as a language and the different patterns and dialects. It includes:

  • Language variation and change
  • Language for interaction
  • text structure and organisation
  • Expressing and developing ideas
  • Phonics and word knowledge

Literature Strand

Including such a strand in Australia’s English curriculum ensures that students learn to understand and appreciate literary texts while also learning to create their own. Moreover, literacy texts enrich students’ comprehension of human emotions and experiences. They also realise the way language can deepen such experiences. It includes:

  • literature and context
  • responding to literature
  • examining literature
  • creating literature

Literacy Strand

The Literacy strand in the Australian Curriculum of English trains students to adapt language to various purposes and realise that language is used to represent information and that opinions may differ. Listening, speaking, reading, viewing, writing and creating are all developed systematically and concurrently. It includes:

  • texts in context
  • interacting with others
  • interpreting, analysing, evaluating
  • creating texts
english curriculum australia

Importance of English in the Australian Curriculum

English helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. Through studying English, individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and the world around them. 

Australia is linguistically and culturally diverse, and you can participate in the various aspects of Australian life if you have adequate knowledge of Standard Australian English. Not to forget, proficiency in English is invaluable globally. 

Australian Curriculum: English extends help to students so that they can engage critically and imaginatively with literature to expand the range of their experiences.

Australian Curriculum English Version 9, what has changed and why?

The Australian Curriculum Version 9 is available for the Australian states and territories to implement. In the English curriculum, the following changes have been noticed in the new curriculum compared to the older 8.4 curriculum.

  • Several content descriptions of Version 8.4 have been combined in Version 9. Such a step makes it easier for the teachers to figure out the co-relations between descriptors and plan their lessons accordingly.
  • The descriptors are no longer vague and dependent on non-specific terms. Instead of a term like ”understand” a teacher will see terms like ”explore”, ”identify”, ”retell”.
  • The achievements are more detailed and reflect the class learning in a better manner. It has been reflected in the Achievement Standards as well. 
  • The content descriptors dealing with students learning word level knowledge and reading have been moved to the ”Literacy” section from the ”Language section.” Such a step is going to benefit English teachers. 

What are the 8 learning areas of the Australian Curriculum?

The Australian Curriculum is comprehensive and versatile. The curriculum is based on developing students into creative, successful, and moral citizens. Designed as a sequential curriculum, the Australian curriculum clearly defines what a student will learn from Foundation to Year 10.

The 8 learning areas, the main disciplines, of the Australian Curriculum, are: 

  • English, 
  • Mathematics,
  • Science, 
  • Health and Physical Education, 
  • Humanities and Social Sciences, 
  • The Arts, 
  • Technologies, and 
  • Languages. 

The latter four learning areas are crafted in such a way that they reflect the uniqueness of customs and practices in the discipline.

The content descriptions in each discipline specify what students will learn, and the achievement standards clarify the depth of understanding and the advanced knowledge and skill the students will exhibit at the end of each year.

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Difference between ACARA and the Australian Curriculum

People might confuse the two but rest assured that they are different. The Australian Curriculum is a national curriculum developed for all primary and secondary schools in Australia.

The Australian Curriculum is developed and reviewed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). It is an independent statutory body and draws on the best national talent and expertise to develop the Australian Curriculum and resources.

Since 2014, Australian states and territories have been implementing the different features of the curriculum, from Foundation- Year 10,

English curriculum NSW

The educational program for English in NSW is based on the outcomes of the syllabuses, from Foundation to Grade 10. Please click on Education Standards English NSW to learn about the syllabus, Course Content, Learning Objectives, Content and Text Requirements and other related information.

English curriculum Victoria

The English curriculum is created to develop common knowledge and skills that students require for lifelong learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum : English and reflects Victorian priorities and standards.

English curriculum Queensland

The English Curriculum: Queensland balances the Australian curriculum’s objectives and the Queensland’s  educational standards.

English curriculum South Australia

Click on the link below to learn more about the English curriculum for the state of South Australia:

English curriculum : South Australia

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Frequently Asked Questions

When was the Australian English curriculum last updated?

The Australian Version 9.0 has been endorsed by education ministers of all states and territories. It is a result of the efforts of the  2020-2021 Australian Curriculum Review. After deliberations and discussions, the states will implement the new curriculum per their timelines. The new curriculum is available here

Is the Australian Curriculum outdated?

The Australian Curriculum is designed to keep pace with the global economy’s learning requirements while ensuring the children’s holistic development. For such an objective, the Australian Version 9.0 has been designed and approved by the concerned authorities for implementation.

Which states use the Australian Curriculum?

All states and territories respect the objectives of the Australian Curriculum and infuse their values into it while implementing it in their respective state or territory.

What is the newest version of the Australian Curriculum?

The newest version of the Australian Curriculum is Version 9.0 Australian Curriculum. It is practical and manageable for Australian teachers and identifies the content the children should learn. 

Do private schools use the Australian Curriculum?

Yes. All Australian schools work towards common goals in education and associated performance measures. All Independent schools use the Australian Curriculum developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and participate in national student assessments such as national literacy and numeracy tests (NAPLAN).

What changed in the Australian Curriculum?

The Australian Curriculum Version 9.0 has given more clarity to the content descriptors and made them practical and manageable for the teachers to achieve the learning objectives.

What was there before the Australian Curriculum?

After many discussions and proposals over decades, the National Curriculum was implemented in 2014. Before its implementation, each state and territory had its education curriculum, which was implemented by its education board. 

How often is the Australian Curriculum reviewed?

In 2015, the education ministers of Australian states and territories decided that the ACARA should carry out a six-year review of the curriculum to keep up with the demands of the changing world and its learning requirements.

What are the Australian Curriculum standards?

The Australian Curriculum specifies that an Achievement Standard accompanies each content area. Achievement Standards are the quality of learning demonstrated by students within a given subject. A national approach requires all States and Territories to report student achievement using a 5-point rating.

Is the Australian curriculum flexible?

Of course. The Australian Curriculum states the objective that has to be met from the Foundation stage onwards in Australian schools. So schools can use the Australian Curriculum flexibly to meet their student’s educational needs. 

What is the most crucial subject in school in Australia?

No subject can be termed the ”most important subject” in Australian schools. However, English is compulsory in all schools, as well as mathematics, natural science and physical education.

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