Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages / Year 3 to 6 / Understanding / Language variation and change

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Curriculum content descriptions

Understand that speakers vary language forms and styles according to kin relationship and context

[Key concepts: kinship, respect, register, silence, taboo; Key processes: observing, examining, explaining, investigating, noticing, recognising]


  • observing how language is used to establish, maintain and reflect kin-based relationships
  • recognising and using specific ways of communicating messages that are linked with relationships, for example, indicating respect within families and extended kinship groups by avoiding direct eye contact, using indirect references and the use of silences and gestures
  • investigating word taboo and reasons for its existence
  • observing that verbal interactions can be more or less formal to suit the relationship between speakers, for example, relaxed, joking styles used with some kin compared to respectful, restrained language used with others
  • noticing differences in the ways speakers communicate with different people, for example, with young children, with unfamiliar adults or with Elders
  • reflecting on how they communicate with their own family and friends and with people less close to them, noticing differences in their language use and communicative behaviour
  • recognising that older people in the community use some different words to talk about familiar things
  • explaining differences in the ways language is used in different situations, for example, talking to their siblings, participating in cultural performances, talking in a big group
General capabilities
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Australian languages

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