New language syllabus will see Auslan offered in schools from next year

Auslan will be offered in public schools next year

Central Coast Council P & C (CCCP&C) has welcomed an announcement that an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) syllabus will be available in public schools next year.

“It is great to see languages a focus for the NSW Government as support and more offerings were a recommendation from the Masters Review into curriculum that was commissioned by the Government,” CCCP&C spokesperson, Sharryn Brownlee, said.

“Auslan will be a great addition to choices for children and (this) is a recognition of the importance of it as a means of communication.

“Just a few words and songs is often all that is offered and only in some schools.

“A genuine curriculum choice will be a wonderful addition as it is the first language for a number of students.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said the inclusion of Auslan would be part of updated language syllabuses for all students for Kindergarten to Year 10.

“Learning a language is a great help with grammar and spelling as well as comprehension and writing,” Brownlee said.

“More needs to be done in NSW to ensure public school students have the same opportunity of languages in their curriculum choices as private school students do.

“Of course, though more trained staff will be needed.”

Mitchell said the changes were part of the Government’s Curriculum Reform agenda.

“NSW offers one of the most comprehensive school languages curriculums in the world and I am committed to exploring how we can make that even better, including for students with disability,” she said.

“I am pleased to see Auslan included in the curriculum for the first time not only because it is a great step for inclusion and students with disability, but because it gives all students the opportunity to experience a unique part of Australia’s linguistic history.

“Studying a language at school gives students the skills to participate in our linguistically dynamic world and improves broader communication and literacy skills.”

A key feature the reform is the redevelopment of the classical and modern languages syllabuses into frameworks that can cover all languages.

The frameworks will enable schools to teach any language without waiting for a specific language syllabus, broadening the scope of languages that can be taught to include more local community languages.

“We know that there is a high demand for community languages and the new frameworks will create integrate school developed language courses with a high quality framework, creating a shared understanding about what students are expected to learn,” Mitchell said.

Terry Collins