Canberra Academy of Languages – Programs

Languages offered to ACT students in Years 11-12

Now enrolling for 2018

Languages offered

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.

Units delivered in 2018 will be The Individualís 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 intent to offer French, German and Indonesian for 2019. 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 in 2018, we will include it in the programs offered for 2019. Future course writing may also include Arabic and Greek. Our programs complement existing senior secondary provisions in languages in the ACT and the academy will maintain 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

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

Teaching spaces will be hired as required for delivery of programs by the academy. Each school or college campus or other location at which teaching spaces are hired will be designated as a teaching centre of the academy. Decisions on teaching spaces for 2018 will take into account the sources of student enrolments, transport options for students and venue costs and facilities. The academyís 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 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


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.


Scope of curriculum

Initially, curriculum options for the Canberra Academy of Languages will encompass existing Type 2 language courses, developed under the ACT BSSS Languages Course Framework, for which there is sufficient demand. This will complement 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

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.

Teacher qualifications for effective curriculum delivery

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

Curriculum resources

Curriculum resources for our programs include the following:


Assessment will 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 will be undertaken within the first fortnight of each year as a benchmark indicator and will be compared with summative assessment outcomes at the end of each semester, to inform ongoing teaching programs. Data from these processes will be 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 will be recorded in BSSS Markbook. Generally, it will be expected that the assessment schedule for each unit offered by the academy will comprise:

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)
Students' teacher-allocated unit scores will be 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 will contribute 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.

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 Attendance/Participation Details about assessment procedures for senior secondary courses in the ACT are provided on the ACT BSSS website in the following documents:


Reporting will be integrated with arrangements at students' home schools and will comprise:


Policies guiding the delivery of our programs are listed below.

Quick links

Last updated

© Canberra Academy of Languages

Canberra region photo
Expanding opportunities for language learning
in the Canberra region