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Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus

Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus

Quality, Opportunity, Diversity

Telephone02 9810 0471


In NSW high schools, languages is a key learning area.

Language study allows students to develop communication skills, learn about languages as systems and explore the relationship between language and culture. Students engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of societies and reflect on their understanding of social interactions.

The study of a language is compulsory for 100 hours in one continuous school year from Year 7 to Year 10, but preferably in Years 7 or 8.

In Years 11 and 12, NSW schools offer a wide variety of languages, catering for beginning students to background speakers.

Languages other than English

Students must study at least 100 hours in one language, to be completed over one continuous 12-month period. The 100-hour course must cover the Stage 4 outcomes and content of the chosen language syllabus, and must be studied between Years 7–10, but preferably in Years 7–8.

The School offers the following languages for the mandatory course:

  • French
  • Japanese
  • Italian

When students have completed the mandatory 100 hours of language study, they may continue the study of that language as an elective for the ROSA and/or choose to study another language.

Course description

A language course provides students with the opportunity to gain effective skills in communicating in the chosen language, to explore the relationships between languages and English, and to develop an understanding of the cultures associated with the chosen language.

Students learning in the study of a modern language

Students will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for effective interaction in a language.

They will explore the nature of languages as systems by making comparisons between English and the chosen language.

Students will also develop inter-cultural understanding by reflecting on similarities and differences between their own and the target culture.

Students learning to do in the study of a modern language

Students will develop the skills to communicate in another language. They will listen and respond to spoken language. They will learn to read and respond to written texts in the language they are learning. Students will establish and maintain communication in familiar situations using the language.

Students will explore the diverse ways in which meaning is conveyed by comparing and contrasting features of the language. They will develop a capacity to interact with people, their culture and their language.


Satisfactory completion of the mandatory language study will be recorded on the student's Record of School Achievement.

Satisfactory completion of 100 or 200 hours of elective study in a language (or languages) during Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) will also be recorded with a grade on the student's Record of School Achievement.