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Eligibility for Continuers Courses in Languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers Courses
Case Studies


Case study 1: Jemma

Jemma is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Korean Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Jemma's exposure to Korean

Jemma's application for eligibility determination, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration provides the information that Jemma's father's first language is Korean and her mother's first language is English. Jemma was born in Australia and a copy of Jemma's birth certificate has been provided by her parents as supporting documentation. Both Jemma's parents have always spoken English to her and between themselves in their home. Jemma's father phones his brother in Korea about once a month and the communication is in Korean. Jemma's school enrolment form, completed when she was in Year 7, states that only English is spoken at home.

School records show that Jemma has studied Korean as an elective in Years 9 and 10 and the report from her teacher of Korean at the school indicates that Jemma's knowledge of reading, writing, speaking and listening in Korean is consistent with that of a competent student who has learned Korean as a second language for two years. On Jemma's application for eligibility determination she has stated that since studying Korean in Years 9 and 10, she occasionally has short, very basic telephone conversation with her uncle in Korea. Her application for eligibility determination also states that she and her parents visited relatives in Korea for three weeks during the holidays at the end of Year 9.

Analysis of the extent of Jemma's exposure to Korean within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Jemma has had no formal education in a school where Korean is the language of instruction. Complies
  • Her only visit to Korea ("a country where Korean is the medium of instruction") was for far less than three years. Complies
  • Her communication in Korean with her uncle is brief and simplistic, not sustained. Complies

Determination

Jemma's exposure to Korean complies with each of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Jemma is eligible to study Stage 6 Korean Continuers.

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Case study 2: Gerald

Gerald is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Gerald's exposure to Japanese

Gerald's application for eligibility determination, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration, and his school enrolment form, completed when he was in Year 7, provides the information that his parents speak to each other in Japanese for about 20 percent of the time at home. Mostly they converse in English. Gerald's parents were born in Australia, as was Gerald himself.

School records show that Gerald began to study elective Japanese at the beginning of Year 8 and from that time he started to practise basic Japanese conversation sometimes with his parents over dinner. Before that point he and his parents communicated entirely in English.

Gerald continued to study elective Japanese in Years 9 and 10. The written assessment made by the teachers of Japanese who have taught Gerald for the three years indicates that Gerald was unable to speak Japanese at the beginning of Year 8. The teachers' written assessment also states that Gerald's skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening to Japanese by the end of Year 10 were in line with his years of study at school. The teachers state that in their judgement Gerald is eligible to undertake the Stage 6 Japanese Continuers course.

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

  • Gerald has had no formal education in a school where Japanese is the language of instruction. Complies
  • Gerald has not been a resident of Japan at any time. Complies
  • Gerald does not use Japanese for sustained communication with his parents. Complies

Determination

Gerald's exposure to Japanese complies with all of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Gerald is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Continuers.

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Case study 3: Elena

Elena is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Elena's exposure to Chinese

Notes taken on Elena's enrolment at her current school in Australia in Year 5 indicate that Elena's parents' only language is English. The family was living in China at the time Elena was born and remained in China until Elena was seven. Enrolment records from Elena's school in China, where instruction was in Chinese, indicate that she attended that school throughout Year 1, a period of one year only. School reports from her Australian Year 2 to Year 4 school, as well as the records at her current school, show that her formal schooling from Years 2 through to 10 has been in Australia.

Elena has studied Chinese at school from Years 5 to 10, and her teachers state in their assessment that her achievements in Chinese in speaking, reading, writing and listening are consistent with a very competent learner of an additional language who has been studying that language at school for seven years. Elena's application for eligibility determination, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration, also states the above information clearly.

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

  • Elena has had no more than one year of formal education, from the first year of primary education, in a school where Chinese was the language of instruction. Complies
  • Elena is now 16. She left China at age seven. In the last 10 years she has had considerably less than three years' residence in a country where Chinese is the medium of communication. Complies
  • Elena does not use Chinese for sustained communication with anyone outside her lessons at school. Complies

Determination

Elena's exposure to Chinese complies with all of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Elena is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

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Case study 4: Alexander

Alexander is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Alexander's exposure to Indonesian

Alexander's school records and reports and his application for eligibility determination, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration, indicate that all his formal schooling in Australia has been at a school where English is the language of instruction. Alexander has studied elective Indonesian at his school in Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10), and he has attended an Indonesian community school on most Saturdays during term time for four years, since the beginning of Year 7.

Alexander's birth certificate shows he was born in Australia. His mother was born in Indonesia and speaks Indonesian as her first language. His father is Australian and speaks only English. His application for eligibility determination states that his maternal grandmother lives with Alexander's family permanently and that she communicates with Alexander's mother in Indonesian. They also read Indonesian newspapers. His application for eligibility determination states that Alexander sometimes has elementary conversation with his grandmother, answering her greetings and making basic conversation about meals, the weather and his day at school.

In her written assessment, Alexander's Year 10 Indonesian teacher confirms that Alexander is top of his class in Indonesian. She states that his language skills in speaking, reading, writing and listening are consistent with those of a capable student who has studied Stage 5 Indonesian and who has practised frequently and made use of resources readily available on the internet.

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

  • Alexander has had no formal education in a school where Indonesian was the language of instruction. Attendance at a community school or Saturday school is not defined as formal education. Complies
  • Alexander has never been a resident in a country where Indonesian is the medium of communication. Complies
  • Alexander's conversation with his grandmother is minimal, basic and of the same nature as that of any student having studied Stage 5. This communication is not sustained. Complies

Determination

Alexander's exposure to Indonesian complies with all of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Alexander is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Continuers.

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Case study 5: Rashi

Rashi is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Rashi's exposure to Chinese

Rashi's school enrolment form indicates that she is Australian and that English is the only language spoken in her home.

Rashi went to primary school in Australia. Rashi's family moved to Singapore when she was 11 and she attended the Australian International School there for Years 7 to 10. The language of instruction at the school is English and Rashi followed the NSW Board of Studies curriculum, including the Board's curriculum in Stages 4 and 5 Chinese (elective). This is specified in Rashi's school reports and in a letter from the principal of the Australian International School in Singapore. The Principal's letter stresses the multilingual nature of Singapore and expresses the view that Rashi's social and schooling life while in Singapore was conducted almost entirely in English.

The teacher of Chinese at Rashi's new school in Australia has interviewed her and has found that her Chinese, while very competent for her level of schooling, is what one would expect from a clever, conscientious student who has studied Stages 4 and 5 elective Chinese following the NSW syllabuses.

Rashi's application for eligibility determination, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration, corroborates all the above information.

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

  • Rashi has had no formal education in a school where Chinese was the language of instruction. Complies
  • Rashi has been a resident in a country where Chinese is the medium of communication for more than three years. However, her circumstances were exceptional and her exposure to Chinese during that time was very limited, in reality far less than equivalent to three years. Complies
  • Rashi had very little conversation in Chinese while in Singapore. She communicated for the great majority of the time in English with English speakers. She did not communicate in a sustained way in Chinese with anyone outside the classroom. Complies

Rashi's exposure to Chinese complies with each of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Rashi is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

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Case study 6: Wendy

Wendy is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Korean Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Wendy's exposure to Korean

Wendy's birth certificate indicates that she was born in Australia. Her father was born in Australia and her mother in Korea.

Wendy's formal schooling has been at schools where English is the language of instruction. She has not studied any Korean at either primary or secondary school, although she has studied Korean at a Community Languages School for the last four years where she is in the advanced stream. School reports corroborate this information.

Wendy's enrolment form for secondary school states that her mother speaks Korean and English in the home and that her father speaks only English. Wendy's application for eligibility determination, supported by her signed statutory declaration, describes her conversing with her mother in Korean at some length about school, films, programs on television, social life and family events.

Analysis of the extent of Wendy's exposure to Korean within the framework of the languages eligibility criteria

  • Wendy's formal education has been at schools where English is the language of instruction. Wendy's study of Korean at a Community Languages School is not considered formal education. Complies
  • Wendy has not been a resident in a country where Korean is the medium of communication. Complies
  • Wendy does use Korean in a sustained way to communicate with her mother. Does not comply

Determination

Wendy's exposure to Korean does not comply with all of the three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Wendy is not eligible to study Stage 6 Korean Continuers.

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Case study 7: Min

Min is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Min's exposure to Chinese

Min was born in China, as his birth certificate and passport show. His parents were born in China and Chinese is their first language. The family has lived in Australia since Min was two years old.

All Min's primary and secondary schooling has been in Australian schools, as is evident from his school reports. He studied elective Chinese in Stage 5.

Min's OASIS form completed when he was in Year 7 states that the main language spoken in the home is Cantonese. His application for eligibility determination, supported by his signed and witnessed statutory declaration, states that Min's parents sometimes speak to each other and to their son in Cantonese.

The written statement from the school's teacher of Chinese states that Min speaks Chinese fluently and is able to hold a structured, in-depth conversation with the teacher, at a level exceeding even excellent outcomes from a student completing Stages 4 and 5 Chinese.

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

  • Min has had no formal education in a school where Chinese was the language of instruction. Complies
  • Min has never been resident in a country where Chinese is the medium of communication. Complies
  • Min does use the language for sustained communication with his parents outside the classroom. Does not comply

Note that for the purpose of determining eligibility:

  • speakers of Cantonese and other dialects are considered to be speakers of Chinese
  • speakers of Indonesian and speakers of Malay are deemed to be speakers of both languages.

Determination

Min's exposure to Chinese does not comply with all three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Min is not eligible to study Stage 6 Chinese Continuers.

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Case study 8: John

John is enquiring whether he is eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Continuers.

Outline of the extent of John's exposure to Chinese

John is the son of English speaking Australian diplomats. The family lived in Indonesia for five years and from Kindergarten to Year 3 (four years in total) John attended an Indonesian school where Indonesian was the main language of instruction. This information is clearly conveyed in John's application for eligibility determination. John's passport has also been made available. John occasionally speaks in Indonesian on the telephone to a young friend who lives in Indonesia.

Since returning to Australia, John has been educated in schools where English has been the sole language of instruction. His school records and reports show this. He has been studying elective Indonesian during Years 7 to 10, gaining average results in his Indonesian studies.

  • John has had more than one year's education since Year 1 in a school where Indonesian was the language of instruction. Does not comply
  • John is now 15. For four of the last 10 years, he has been resident in Indonesia. Does not comply
  • John does not use Indonesian outside the classroom for sustained communication. Complies

Determination

John's exposure to Indonesian does not comply with all three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

John is not eligible to study Stage 6 Indonesian Continuers.

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Case study 9: Greta

Greta is enquiring whether she is eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Continuers.

Outline of the extent of Greta's exposure to Chinese

The following information is drawn from Greta's application for eligibility determination, supported by her signed and witnessed statutory declaration. Notes made at the time of her enrolment at her secondary school are also available, and her Stage 4 and Stage 5 teacher of Japanese has provided a written statement.

Greta was born in Japan, where her Australian parents lived and worked for some years. From Kindergarten to Year 2 Greta attended a local school where Japanese was the language of instruction. On returning to Australia, Greta enrolled in the Japanese stream of a Japanese international school, where Japanese was also the main language of instruction, and she remained there until the end of Year 6. Greta maintains regular contact with her friends in Japan in Japanese via email, Facebook and Skype.

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

  • Greta has had more than one year of formal education in schools where Japanese was the language of instruction. Does not comply
  • Greta has not been resident in Japan for more than three of the last 10 years. Complies
  • Greta does use Japanese frequently to communicate in a sustained way with friends whose background is Japanese. Does not comply

Determination

Greta's exposure to Japanese does not comply with all three eligibility criteria for Continuers courses in languages where there are Heritage and Background Speakers courses.

Greta is not eligible to study Stage 6 Japanese Continuers.

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