Canberra Academy of Languages – News

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See links to current versions of the following documents on the CAL home page:

News – this year sequence

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update, February 2024

Languages Forum logo

The Canberra Region Languages Forum Update for February 2024 has been sent out to subscribers by the Convener, Dr Mandy Scott. News items in this update include:

Feedback and contribution to future updates welcome.
Details of previous Forum Updates are available at Canberra Region Languages Forum website.

CITSOL SML logoCommencement of senior secondary language teaching programs with CIT Solutions, posted 4 February 2024

As discussed in the online orientation session, CML classes for senior secondary languages will commence in Week 2 (Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 February). Scheduling for Term 1 will be as outlined below.

For more details, please refer to the CIT Solutions website page about senior secondary languages. You can also contact CIT Solutions at 02 6207 0633 or email at

CITSOL SML logoOrientation session and commencement with CIT Solutions, 1 February 2024

The CIT Solutions Centre for Modern Languages (CML) will deliver senior secondary programs in six languages this year – French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Tamil – for students whose preferred languages of study are not available through their day schools. The CML Online Orientation Evening for 2024 will be held to provide information on program plans and assessment arrangements. All participating students, and preferably also parents, should sign in for the orientation session:

CML classes will commence in Week 2 (Tuesday 6 February, Wednesday 7 February and Thursday 8 February), so that Colleges can finalise their in-house class allocations and refer students to CML where needed. For more details, please refer to the CIT Solutions website page about senior secondary languages. You can also contact CIT Solutions at 02 6207 0633 or email at

Senior secondary languages with composite classes, online workshop on 23 January, posted 4 January 2024, updated 11 January 2024

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The challenges of running composite classes in languages are familiar to many if not most language teachers in Australia. These challenges are both more complex and more likely to arise in teaching senior secondary language programs, because attrition in high school language class enrolments for Years 7 to 10 often leads to composite classes for Years 11-12, and at the same time, high-stakes assessment and compliance requirements for senior secondary education add to the the complexity of program delivery.

As the Canberra Academy of Languages (CAL) concludes seven years of program delivery and works on the transition with CIT Solutions Centre for Modern Languages who are taking on program delivery this year, we are proposing a 2-hour online workshop, to be delivered by Selina Jaeck, who was our CAL German teacher for the past three years. Over that time, Selina has worked with steadily increasing numbers of Year 11 and Year 12 students studying Beginning, Continuing and Advanced German under the ACT senior secondary curriculum. Selina will explore planning considerations and strategies that she has used. Examples from German programs will be explained and contextualised, so that the workshop series is accessible for teachers of all languages.

This PL session will be held on Tuesday 23 January, from 10 am to midday. Participants will be provided with CAL Google Workspace accounts, to facilitate the online meeting and access to resources via Google Drive. Registration $60 + $6 GST via Trybooking.

CAL 2023 End of Year Ceremony, posted 21 December 2023

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The seventh and final CAL End of Year Ceremony was held in the Hall at Ainslie School on Monday evening, 11 December 2023. Our thanks go to everyone who helped to ensure the success of this event, at which there were approximately 100 attendees. They include CAL teachers and members of our organising team, our advisory panel members, our students, their families, Ainslie School colleagues Wendy Cave, Stav Lourandos and John House, CIT Solutions GM Catherine Ng, and secondary college delegates Tess McGrath and Gerard Barrett.

CAL class of 2023

CAL class of 2023


Congratulations to all our students who have completed their senior secondary languages studies with us throughout 2017 to 2023. Among the class of 2023, 32 students have completed a major in the language they studied, and 27 have completed a minor. Of those 27, some will go on to convert their minor to a major by continuing their studies with CIT Solutions Centre for Modern Languages next year.

CITSOL SML logo Teach Senior Secondary Languages with CIT Solutions, posted 3 December 2023

CIT Solutions Centre for Modern Languages is seeking dynamic, qualified senior secondary teachers in Spanish and German to conduct evening classes during school terms commencing 2024!

Accredited as a Specialist Education Provider by the ACT BSSS to provide senior secondary Year 11 and Year 12 studies in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Tamil, we are dedicated to support students who wish to take up their preferred foreign languages that are not available in their day schools.

The classes are held at Ainslie School, 33 Donaldson Street, Braddon.


Why join us?

If you're a passionate, qualified language educator, eager to contribute to a forward-thinking specialist language education training provider, apply now! Email your resume to

#LanguageEducation #TeachingOpportunity #Spanish #German #JoinOurTeam

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update, December 2023

Languages Forum logo

The Canberra Region Languages Forum Update for December 2023 has been sent out to subscribers by the Convener, Dr Mandy Scott. News items in this update include:

Feedback and contribution to future updates welcome.
Details of previous Forum Updates are available at Canberra Region Languages Forum website.

Dr Mandy Scott interviewed on the Mornings program on ABC Canberra, posted 28 October 2023

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Dr Mandy Scott, Chair of the CAL Advisory Panel, was interviewed by Adie Francis on ABC Canberra Mornings show on Friday 20 October as one of the nominees for ACT Senior Citizen of the Year. The podcast of the program for that morning is at and an MP3 extract of the interview with Mandy is below. Mandy is also Honorary Lecturer, ANU School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Convenor of the Languages Forum of the ACT, Secretary of the ACT Bilingual Education Alliance, among multiple roles that she has in supporting and promoting multilingualism in Canberra.

Tribute to Victor Marillanca, 2XX broadcaster, posted 28 September 2023

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CAL would like to pay tribute to Victor Marillanca, 2XX broadcaster for 47 years, who died on 26 September. In the first year of CAL's programs, on the suggestion of Dr Mandy Scott, who is now the CAL Advisory Panel Chair, suggested arranging an interview with Victor about CAL. The interview was held with him at the 2XX studio on 11 September 2017. Victor's extensive knowledge about community languages was very apparent in that discussion. See the CAL News Archive 2017 below for our post at that time and for a link to the mp3 with extracts from the interview.

CAL German baking, posted 28 September 2023

CAL German baking

CAL German enjoyed a baking session at their last lesson for Term 3 tonight with Selina. It went really well and all students enjoyed a traditional German Brezel 🥨.

CIT Solutions to deliver senior secondary language courses from 2024, posted 12 September 2023

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It was confirmed today that CIT Solutions will take on the delivery of senior secondary languages programs from the start of 2024. CAL currently runs courses in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Tamil in 2023. We anticipate that CIT Solutions will continue to offer these in 2024. We welcome this initiative by CIT Solutions and look forward to working with them to ensure a smooth and successful transition. We have invited our CIT Solutions colleagues to present our information session jointly with us on Thursday 21 September 2023. For more details about the information session, please refer to the Events page on CAL website.

Student account of exchange year, posted 29 August 2023

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Two students from the Canberra Academy of Languages have recently returned from a year's experience living and attending school in Europe, one in the Champagne region in France and the other in the Rhineland region in Germany. Both found the experience inspiring and transformative. One has written about this and has kindly agreed that we may publish her account, which is available via this link.

ANGLS logoANGLS Conference commences, posted 28 August 2023

The annual conference of the Australian Network of Government Language Schools (ANGLS Conference) is commencing this morning at the Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh, in Adelaide. We are now meeting the delegates – talented and dedicated colleagues who will be sharing their expertise from seven Australian jurisdictions today and tomorrow.

CAL logoPrograms for 2024, posted 15 August 2023

Many of you will be aware that we have put a series of submissions to ACT Government about long-term plans for CAL programs. Our view was that, to ensure long-term continuity in program delivery, Canberra should have a government-run, centrally delivered facility for languages education to complement (not replace) language programs in day schools. Facilities of this kind already exist in NSW, Victoria, SA, Qld and NT. In our 2017 submission, we included an undertaking that we were prepared to commit to running the programs for two additional years (2018 and 2019), on the basis that the facility would be government-run after that.

This did not eventuate, and we continued to run programs, as a not-for-profit organisation in a volunteering mode, to ensure students had the opportunities we believed they should have. We lodged a new iteration of the proposal as part of the 2023 budget consultation process. Again, this year, however, there was no provision in the ACT budget.

Concerned about the implications for our stakeholders – students, families, and schools – we also explored options with other potential providers. This year, for the first time, we identified a potential provider that we believe is eminently suitable. Work is now progressing with relevant parties to establish a way forward in planning for next year. We hope to have more information in September about plans for 2024.

CAL Convener and CAL Registrar/Public Officer

Dates confirmed for 2024 Multicultural Festival, posted 31 July 2023

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Dates have been confirmed for 2024 National Multicultural Festival. It will be held from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February 2024. The next opportunity to drop in for a chat about planning will be on Tuesday 1 August 2023 at the Theo Notaras Centre, 180 London Circuit. See the NMF web page for details.

Semester 2 commencement, posted 17 July 2023

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As advised in a broadcast email today to students and familes, CAL languages programs for Semester 2 of 2023 in French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Tamil are commencing this week. For session times and days, please select the "Session times and venues" link at the top of the programs page on CAL website.

Class pages for Semester 2 have been published on Languages.Org.Au ( Please use the top navigation bar to access the home page for your language and then select the link to your class page for this semester. Details already on each class page at the time of writing include unit outlines, term overviews and topic focus areas for this semester.

Scheduling information for the four assessment tasks for Semester 2 is also available on the events page on CAL website. These are flagged with a pencil-&-paper icon to enable quick visual navigation to the assessment tasks.

End of semester arrangements, posted 20 June 2023

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We are now finalising CAL assessment data for Semester 1 of 2023. CAL students and families are asked to review the broadcast email sent yesterday about checking your assessment item marks through BSSS Profiles Online and ensuring that all set work has been submitted.

Last week was the final week of this semester for face-to-face class sessions in CAL programs. There are no face-to-face sessions in Weeks 19-20.

Semester reports will be finalised and sent out to students and families within the next week, and copies will go to schools shortly after that. Unit scores will also be finalised during that time.

Unit outlines for next semester were distributed to classes last week (Week 18). They will also be accessible on CAL class pages on Languages.Org.Au in coming days.

ACTBEA Festival of Languages, posted 20 April 2023

ACT Bilingual Education Alliance  logo

ACT Bilingual Education Alliance (ACTBEA) held a Festival of Languages on Saturday 17 June at the ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies.

ANU Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies Languages spoken in Canberra

It was highly successful, with an estimated 100 participants in the course of the day, and a range of workshops and exhibits, including a display of Georgian scripts and opportunities to try writing the script with a tutor on hand.

Another attraction was a poster depicting the major languages spoken in the Canberra community, as revealed in an update from the 2021 Census. The second-largest group was Nepali, with 5859 speakers.

Preparing for the enquiry-based speaking assessment task, posted 2 June 2023

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As advised in a broadcast email this week, the final assessment item for the semester, the enquiry-based speaking assessment task, will take place next week. To support you in preparing for the speaking task, the following sources of information are available to you:.

For more details, please refer to the broadcast email

CLSA Open Day 20 May

CAL and ACTBEA (ACT Bilingual Education Alliance) participated in the ACT CLSA Open Day on Saturday 20 May. The Community Language Schools Association organises an annual open day, community language schools present performances. There is also a round table session at the end of the day’s program, where leaders of community language schools discuss matters of current interest. This year, topics for discussion included funding arrangements to be introduced after the recent review, and resources suitable for use in programs.

CLSA Open Day

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update, May 2023

Languages Forum logo

The Canberra Region Languages Forum Update for May 2023 has been sent out to subscribers by the Convener, Dr Mandy Scott. News items in this update include:

Writing and speaking assessment tasks for Q2, posted 12 May 2023

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For the writing and speaking assessment tasks this term, as advised to students and families in our broadcast email last week and in classes this week, assessment task descriptions are available via the assessment section on the Programs page on CAL website. Assessment rubrics are also available via links further down on the same page.

For quick access, select the "assessment" shortcut at the top of the page, to scroll down to the assessment area. Additional details are available via unit outlines, term overviews, topic focus areas listed on class pages on Languages.Org.Au, and class portals for each language on Google Classroom. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tag der deutschen Sprache – CAL German excursion, posted 27 April 2023

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CAL German students attended a special program of German language activities at the Swiss Embassy today for ACT students of German. We thank the organisers, including Das Zentrum, the Swiss, Austrian and German embassies, Spielwelt, the ACT German Language School, the Goethe Institut, and Heike Craig at Daramalan.

Teacher of Japanese for Semester 2, posted 25 April 2023

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We invite expressions of interest from suitably qualified teachers for a casual sessional role teaching Beginning/Continuing Japanese.

The salary scale will be based on the Australian Educational Services (Teachers) Award and includes an afternoon quarter day shift each weekly on-site session and a standard quarter day shift each week for the offsite program. There are extra provisions, with one standard quarter day shift for program management each fortnight and one standard quarter day shift for each assessment task. Also included are additional shifts as required for commitments such as meetings.

Relevant qualifications include:

If interested, please send your expression of interest to CAL, addressing the points below, by Friday 2nd June 2023.

Email for applications:

If you would like to discuss this position please contact our Director of School, Elizabeth McArthur on 0413222795.

CAL commencement Term 2, posted 25 April 2023

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Progress reports went out to families out to families during the autumn break. Please let me know if you have any questions arising.

We held a catch-up session for CAL Japanese yesterday evening. Thanks to everyone for attending the extra session this week. CAL German will run via Google Meet this week, tomorrow evening, Wednesday 26 April, from 5:15 pm, as advised via Google Classroom. CAL German sessions will resume on Thursday evenings from next week. For those who have registered, we also have a German excursion on Thursday for the Tag der deutschen Sprache, jointly hosted by the Swiss Embassy and Das Zentrum. We thank the organisers for providing this opportunity for ACT students of German. French is resuming on Wednesdays from tomorrow evening, as per last year's schedule, with Baba's return. We welcome Baba back and thank Cécile for standing in during Term 1. CAL Korean will run via Google Meet on Friday evening 4:15 to 6:15 this week and will resume Thursday evening face-to-face sessions from next week.

Best wishes to all for the new term.

CAL proposal about languages education for the ACT 2023-24 budget, posted 17 March 2023

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As part of the budget consultation process for the ACT 2023-24 budget, we have lodged a proposal about future directions for language education in the territory. As stated in our charter, CAL recognises the importance of language rights, including the right of learners to aspire to, or to maintain and develop, bilingual or multilingual capabilities. Students should be able to access programs in the languages of their choice. This should not depend on the district of the ACT in which they live or attend their day schools. There should be a long-term, government-sponsored plan for centrally-delivered programs after school hours, to supplement language teaching programs in day schools, as there is already in five other Australian states and territories. It is an issue of equity, which should be addressed strategically by the ACT Government. This morning, CAL Convener Frank Keighley spoke about the proposal with Adam Shirley on ABC Breakfast:

Commencement of programs for 2023

CAL event logo A reminder that, as noted below and as our Director of School, Beth McArthur, advised in a broadcast email at the end of January, CAL class sessions will begin from Week 2. No CAL classes are held in Week 1.

Appointment of CAL Director of School, posted 2 February 2023

We have appointed Beth McArthur as as CAL Director of School. We welcome Beth's expertise as a teacher of languages, with a broad range of connections in languages education, training and assessment.

CAL 2023 Registration evening 2023, posted 27 January 2023, updated 28 January 2023

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The CAL Registration Evening for 2023 will be held as an online from 6 pm on Thursday 2 February. Enrolled students and their families will receive a copy of the Google Meet link via email. At this session, we will provide latest information on program plans and assessment arrangements. Information on arrangements for the registration evening will be posted to the CAL Events page. Please RSVP to secure your place.

Commencement 2023, posted 27 January, updated 1 February 2023

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CAL classes will commence in Week 2 of Term 1 (Tuesday 7 February, Wednesday 8 February and Thursday 9 February), so that colleges can finalise their in-house class allocations in Week 1 and refer students to us where needed. For scheduling details, please refer to the "Session times and venues" section of our Programs page. In 2023, we will deliver programs in seven languages – French, German,Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Tamil.

News – Previous years sequence

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