Wednesday, April 24, 2024

NSW schools all ears for new sign language syllabus

The first Auslan (Australian Sign Language) syllabus for primary and secondary students has been released to NSW schools.

Developed in consultation with the Deaf community, teachers, students and parents, the syllabus will give NSW students the opportunity to experience a unique part of Australia’s linguistic heritage and learn a valuable communication skill, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car said today.

“As well as beginning learners of Auslan, this new syllabus will give students who are first language Auslan users the opportunity to formally study the language of their community, and I am delighted to see it being released to NSW schools,” the Deputy Premier said.

“NSW offers one of the most comprehensive school languages curriculum in the world and I am committed to exploring how we can make that even better, in a way that is accessible for all students.

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

Minister Car said teachers will have up to a year in extra time to plan and prepare before the syllabus is taught in classrooms at the beginning of 2026, as part of the Government’s decision to extend the Curriculum Reform delivery timeline.

Auslan is an optional course and decisions about teaching the syllabus will be made by schools and education sectors in consultation with the Deaf community, the Deputy Premier said.

The clear and explicit presentation of the Auslan syllabus supports teachers to plan their lessons and new evidence-based support materials, including teaching advice, will be available online through the NSW Curriculum website.

“This is a really exciting initiative, where students will have the opportunity to learn Auslan at school,” said Minister for Disability Inclusion, Kate Washington.

“By rolling out a K-10 Auslan syllabus, we’re delivering on our commitment to create a more inclusive community.”

The syllabus enhances the languages offering in NSW schools following the redevelopment of the Aboriginal, Classical and Modern Languages syllabuses into frameworks covering all languages. 

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