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Eligibility criteria for Stage 6 Languages Courses1

To be eligible for a course, students are required to meet all of the criteria at the entry point to that course.

Courses Target Candidature Eligibility Criteria
Beginners Students are learning the language as a second (or subsequent) language. Students either have no prior spoken or written knowledge or experience of the language, or their experience is derived solely from, or is equivalent to, study of the language for 100 hours or less in Stage 4 or Stage 5.
  • Students have had no more than 100 hours’ study of the language at the secondary level (or the equivalent).
  • Students have little or no previous knowledge of the language. For exchange students, a significant in-country experience (involving experiences such as homestay and attendance at school) of more than three months renders a student ineligible.
Continuers

Students are learning the language as a second (or subsequent) language. Students typically have studied the language for 200–400 hours at the commencement of Stage 6.

(In languages where Extension courses are offered, the Extension courses are available to HSC Continuers course candidates only.)

  • Students have had no more than one year’s formal education2 from the first year of primary education (Year 1) in a school where the language is the medium of instruction.
  • Students have had no more than three years residency in the past 10 years in a country where the language is the medium of communication.
  • Students do not use the language for sustained communication outside the classroom with someone with a background in using the language.
Heritage Students typically have been brought up in a home where the language is used, and they have a connection to that culture. These students have some degree of understanding and knowledge of the language. They have received all or most of their formal education in schools where English (or another language different from the language of the course) is the medium of instruction. Students may have undertaken some study of the language in a community, primary and/or secondary school in Australia. Students may have had formal education in a school where the language is the medium of instruction up to the age of 10.
  • Students have had no formal education in a school where the language is the medium of instruction beyond the year in which the student turns 10 years of age (typically Year 4 or 5 of primary education).
Background Speakers Students have a cultural and linguistic background in the language.  

Note: For the purpose of determining eligibility:

  • speakers of dialects and variants of a language are considered to be speakers of the standard language
  • speakers of Indonesian and speakers of Malay are considered to be speakers of both languages.
  1. Beginners languages courses, Continuers courses in languages where there are Background Speakers courses, and Heritage languages courses.
  2. Formal education is ‘education that is institutionalised, intentional and planned through public organizations and recognised private bodies and – in their totality – constitute the formal education system of a country’ (UNESCO International Standard Classification of Education, 2011).
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