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Sequences of learning

The Chinese curriculum takes account of different entry points into language learning across F–10, which reflects current practice in language teaching.

There are two possible learning sequences:

  • F–10 sequence for students who begin to learn the language in primary school and continue to Year 10.
  • 7–10 sequence for students who begin to learn the language in Year 7.


For Chinese, pathways are provided for three learner groups: Second Language Learners, Background Language Learners and First Language Learners.

The types of learner are:

  • Second Language Learner
    These students are introduced to learning Chinese at school as an additional, new language. The first language used before they start school and/or the language they use at home is not Chinese.

  • Background Language Learner
    These students may use Chinese at home, not necessarily exclusively, and have varying degrees of knowledge of and proficiency in the Chinese language. These students have a base for literacy development in the language.

  • First Language Learner (7–10 sequence only)
    These students are users of the Chinese language who have undertaken at least primary schooling in Chinese. They have had their primary socialisation as well as initial literacy development in the Chinese language and use it at home.

Schools will make decisions about which pathway best serves their students’ needs, and teachers will use the pathways to cater for students by making any appropriate adjustments to differentiate their learning experiences.

Strands and Sub-strands

The content descriptions of the Languages curriculum F–10 are organised through two interrelated strands. The two strands are Communicating and Understanding. Each strand contains several sub-strands.

Using language for communicative purposes in interpreting, creating and exchanging meaning. Analysing and understanding language and culture as resources for interpreting and shaping meaning in intercultural exchange.
Sub-strands Socialising
Interacting orally and in writing to exchange ideas, opinions, experiences, thoughts and feelings, and participating in planning, negotiating, deciding and taking action.
Systems of language
Understanding language as a system that includes sound, writing, grammatical and textual conventions.
Obtaining, processing, interpreting and conveying information through a range of oral, written and multimodal texts, developing and applying knowledge.
Language variation and change
Understanding how languages vary in use (register, style, standard and non-standard varieties) and change over time and place.
Engaging with imaginative experience by participating in, responding to and creating a range of texts, such as stories, songs, drama and music.
The role of language and culture
Analysing and understanding the role of language and culture in the exchange of meaning.
Moving between languages and cultures orally and in writing, recognising different interpretations and explaining these to others.
Participating in intercultural exchange, questioning reactions and assumptions, and considering how interaction shapes communication and identity.

Achievement standards

In Chinese, students progress along a curriculum continuum. The choice of pathway and learning sequence undertaken by students will determine the number and progression of achievement standards:

  • Chinese Second Language Learner and Background Language Learner, F–10 Sequence - the first achievement standard is provided at Foundation–Level 2 and then at Levels 4, 6, 8 and 10.
  • Chinese Second Language Learner and Background Language Learner, 7–10 Sequence and First Language Learner - the first achievement standard is provided at Level 8 and then at Level 10.
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