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  6. Eligibility for Beginners Language Courses - Case Studies
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Eligibility for Beginners Language Courses
Case Studies


Case study 1: Nathan

Nathan is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Arabic Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Nathan's exposure to Arabic

Nathan was born in Australia and his family's first language is English. There is no use of Arabic to communicate in the family home. This is stated clearly in Nathan's languages eligibility application, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration. The application also states that Nathan studied Arabic at primary school for approximately 20 minutes a week from Years 3 to 5. His secondary school records and reports show that he satisfactorily completed the mandatory 100 hours of language in Stage 4 in Arabic.

Analysis of the extent of Nathan's exposure to Arabic within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Nathan has had no more than 100 hours of the study of Arabic at the secondary level (or equivalent). Complies
  • Nathan has little previous knowledge of Arabic. The short weekly experience spread over three years in primary school is considered minimal, and constitutes little previous knowledge. Complies

Determination

Nathan's exposure to Arabic complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Nathan is eligible to study Stage 6 Arabic Beginners.

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Case study 2: Sam

Sam is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Sam's exposure to Indonesian

Sam's school has a 'taster' languages program for Year 7 students, and in Year 7 Sam had a short introduction to each of French, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese. Although some work is done on language in the taster courses, it is minimal as the emphasis is on culture and general knowledge. In Year 8, Sam completed the mandatory 100 hours of language in Indonesian. Sam only speaks English outside the classroom and has no other exposure to Indonesian. This information is available from school records and Sam's languages eligibility application, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

Analysis of the extent of Sam's exposure to Indonesian within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Sam completed a 100-hour Indonesian course in Year 8. His 'taster' course in Indonesian in Year 7 involved very minimal exposure to the language and Indonesian was one of four languages introduced in the hours available across the year. Complies
  • Sam has had no further exposure to Indonesian outside the classroom. Complies

Determination

Sam's exposure to Indonesian complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Sam is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Beginners.

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Case study 3: Caitlin

Caitlin is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Caitlin's exposure to Japanese

Caitlin's maternal grandparents live in Japan and speak only Japanese. Caitlin's father was born in Australia and his only language is English. Caitlin's mother was born in Japan and has lived in Australia since before Caitlin was born. She has always spoken English only with Caitlin and her father.

The family has had short holidays in Japan on several occasions, never staying for longer than two weeks. This information is stated on Caitlin's languages eligibility application and she has submitted copies of passports in corroboration. The school's records and statements from teachers in the school's languages department indicate that Caitlin is very interested in Japanese culture and this interest has been fostered during her 100-hour study of Japanese at her secondary school in Year 7. Her school did not offer either the elective Stage 4 or the elective Stage 5 course.

Analysis of the extent of Caitlin's exposure to Japanese within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Caitlin has studied Japanese at the secondary level for no more than 100 hours. Complies
  • Caitlin has little previous knowledge of the language. Her holiday visits to Japan do not constitute a significant in-country experience. Complies

Determination

Caitlin's exposure to Japanese complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Caitlin is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Beginners.

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Case study 4: Carlo

Carlo is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Italian Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Carlo's exposure to Italian

Carlo's languages eligibility application, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration, states the following information. He has distant relatives living in Italy, and he speaks to them occasionally on the phone using a mixture of English and a few basic greetings and phrases in Italian. Carlo was born in Australia, as were his parents. School records and Carlo's reports show that his only secondary level study of Italian consisted of the 100 hours mandatory language course undertaken in Year 7.

During Year 3 Carlo attended an Italian Community Languages school for one hour a week. Carlo's Year 7 teacher of Italian has indicated in his written statement that Carlo had very little knowledge of Italian at the beginning of Year 7.

Analysis of the extent of Carlo's exposure to Italian within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria.

  • Carlo has had no more than 100 hours study of Italian in secondary school. Complies
  • Carlo has little previous knowledge of the language. His experience at the Community Languages school during Year 3 was minimal, and there was a three-year gap between his attendance there and commencing his Year 7 mandatory 100 hours course. His teacher's statement corroborates that Carlo had little knowledge of Italian at the beginning of Year 7. Complies

Determination

Carlo's exposure to Italian complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Carlo is eligible to study Stage 6 Italian Beginners.

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Case study 5: Nadiya

Nadiya is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Nadiya's exposure to Indonesian

Nadiya's family have volunteered her birth certificate and early school records to show that Nadiya was born in Australia and went to an Australian school, where English was the language of instruction until the end of Year 9. She completed 100 hours of Japanese in Year 8.The family moved to Indonesia for one year, and Nadiya completed her Year 10 studies at an English international school in Indonesia. She did not study Indonesian as part of the curriculum. Her reports from the school are in English and show this.

During her year in Indonesia, Nadiya had minimal exposure to the Indonesian language, as she socialised mainly with friends from her school. The family employed an Indonesian housekeeper and Nadiya learned how to exchange elementary greetings with her. This is stated on Nadiya's languages eligibility application, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

Analysis of the extent of Nadiya's exposure to Indonesian within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Nadiya has not studied Indonesian at any point during her secondary schooling. Complies
  • Nadiya has very little knowledge of Indonesian. Although she lived in the country for one year, her circumstances largely isolated her from the language and her exposure to Indonesian constitutes less than 100 hours study.
    Complies

Determination

Nadiya's exposure to Indonesian complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Nadiya is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Beginners.

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Case study 6: Steven

Steven is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Steven's exposure to Chinese

Steven was born in Australia, as were his parents, whose first language in English. Steven has always been interested in Asian cultures, and had 40 hours of private tutoring in Chinese during Year 10. This information was supplied in Steven's languages eligibility application, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration. He commenced the Chinese Beginners course in the Preliminary Year.

During Year 11, Steven has continued to be a highly motivated student. He has had extra tutoring in Chinese, watched Chinese DVDs and television programs, building on his considerable aptitude in the language. He has made outstanding progress and has quickly moved beyond the typical standard expected of Preliminary Beginners students. His skills in speaking and listening to Chinese are now excellent and his writing is competent. Steven lives in a community where there are many Chinese speakers, and as his skills have improved, he has taken every opportunity to communicate in Chinese with his neighbours and people he meets locally. Steven's teacher is concerned about whether Steven is still eligible to be part of the Beginners course group as he enters the HSC year.

Analysis of the extent of Steven's exposure to Chinese within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • At the commencement of Year 11, when Steven applied for eligibility, he had done no secondary study of Chinese at school. Complies
  • At the commencement of Year 11, when Steven applied for eligibility, Steven's knowledge of Chinese derived solely from 40 hours of private tuition during Year 10, significantly less than an equivalent 100 hours study in Year 7 or 8. Complies
    Note eligibility is determined at the time of entry to the course. From the entry point onwards, Steven remains eligible for Beginners.

Determination

Steven's exposure to Chinese at the time of his entry to the course complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Steven is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Beginners and will remain eligible for the duration of the course.

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Case study 7: Pauline

Pauline is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Spanish Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Pauline's exposure to Spanish

School records show that in the early part of Year 10 Pauline completed a 3-month approved exchange program in Spain. She lived with a Spanish family and attended the local school, where Spanish was the language of instruction. Reports from her Spanish school state that she tried hard and made promising progress with her Spanish during her time there. Pauline had not studied Spanish at school at all before the exchange.

At the end of the exchange, Pauline's parents joined her in Spain and the family travelled around the country together for three weeks to see the sights, communicating with each other only in English. This information is provided on Pauline's language eligibility application, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration, and by copies of passports volunteered by Pauline's parents.

Analysis of the extent of Pauline's exposure to Spanish within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Pauline has not studied Spanish at secondary level at her Australian school. Complies
  • Pauline's exchange program did not exceed the three months of in-country experience specified in the criteria. During her holiday with her English speaking family she was not attending school and her exposure to Spanish was negligible. Complies

Determination

Pauline's exposure to Spanish complies with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Pauline is eligible to study Stage 6 Spanish Beginners.

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Case study 8: Nick

Nick is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Modern Greek Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Nick's exposure to Greek

Nick's languages eligibility application, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration provides the following information. Nick's family has also provided access to his birth certificate and his passport. His passport shows the time and duration of his overseas holidays.

Nick's grandparents spoke Greek as their first language, and Nick's father was born in Greece, moving to live in Australia as a young adult. Nick's mother was born in Australia and speaks only English. English is the only language spoken at home by the family, although Nick hears occasional telephone calls in Greek between his father and relatives in Greece.

Nick had one four-week holiday in Greece when he was six, and he attended Greek Community School on Saturdays from Years 3 to 6. Reports from the community school state that a continuous and sequenced learning program was provided. Nick has not studied Greek during Years 7–10.

Analysis of the extent of Nick's exposure to Greek within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Nick has no study of Greek at the secondary level. Complies
  • Nick has attended a Greek Community School on Saturdays over a period of 4 years, and while there has followed a sequenced, continuous program of Greek. He has had experience of the Greek language equivalent to more than 100 hours in Stage 4. He cannot be said to have "little or no previous knowledge of the language". Does not comply

Determination

Nick's exposure to Greek does not comply with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Nick is not eligible to study Stage 6 Modern Greek Beginners.

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Case study 9: Blair

Blair is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 German Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Blair's exposure to German

Blair's enrolment interview records show that his parents are German citizens and diplomats for the German government. German is their first language. Blair was born in Germany, living there until the age of three. Since then his parents have had international postings. All Blair's schooling has been in international schools where English was the language of instruction. His reports from these schools, as well as his application for eligibility determination supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration show this clearly.

German has sometimes been the language of communication between Blair and his family, as is stated in his application. He writes very little German but is able to converse fluently in the language.

Analysis of the extent of Blair's exposure to German, within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Blair has never had German lessons, either at primary or secondary level. Complies
  • Blair's skills and knowledge in speaking and listening to German are more extensive than would be derived from a 100-hour secondary course. Does not comply

Determination

Blair's exposure to German does not comply with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Blair is not eligible to study Stage 6 German Beginners.

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Case study 10: Rebecca

Rebecca is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Rebecca's exposure to Japanese

School records and Rebecca's languages eligibility application supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration show that she and her family, while having Swedish citizenship, have resided in Australia for the last four years. Rebecca and her parents speak English fluently, even though Swedish is their first language. In primary school Rebecca attended a Kindergarten to Year 12 school where English is the language of instruction but where the learning of other languages has a high priority. Rebecca learned Japanese at this school from Years 3 to Year 6, with Japanese lessons three times a week. Primary school reports supplied by Rebecca's parents describe the substantial amount of learning in Japanese achieved by Rebecca during Years 3 to 6.

Rebecca also undertook the 100 mandatory hours of language in Year 8 in Japanese at her current school.

Analysis of the extent of Rebecca's exposure to Japanese within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Rebecca has only studied 100 hours of Japanese at secondary school. Complies
  • Rebecca's exposure to Japanese in the primary years has been extensive, given the curriculum profile of her previous school. In this context, Rebecca's four years of primary tuition added her study of Japanese in Year 8 far exceed 100 hours of study. Does not comply

Determination

Rebecca's exposure to Japanese does not comply with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Rebecca is not eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Beginners.

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Case study 11: Lindy

Lindy is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 French Beginners.

Outline of the extent of Lindy's exposure to French

In Year 7, Lindy's school delivered a 'taster' program of two languages, such that during Year 7, Lindy studied 50 hours of Indonesian and 50 hours of French. In Year 8, she studied the 100 hours of mandatory language in French. Lindy has had no other exposure to French.

This information is clear from Lindy's school records and reports and is set out in her languages eligibility application, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

Analysis of the extent of Lindy's exposure to French within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Lindy has studied French at the secondary level for 150 hours, significantly in excess of the 100 hours specified in the criteria. Does not comply
  • Lindy has had no exposure to French outside the classroom. Complies

Determination

Lindy's exposure to French does not comply with both eligibility criteria for Beginners courses in languages.

Lindy is not eligible to study Stage 6 French Beginners.

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