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Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages / Year 7 to 10 / Understanding / Language variation and change

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Analyse variations in language use that reflect different social and cultural contexts, purposes and relationships

[Key concepts: respect, silence, kinship, body language, code-switching; Key processes: examining, explaining, analysing]


  • explaining how elements of communication, such as gestures, facial expressions, choice of language and use of silence, vary according to context, situation and kin relationships, for example, eye contact, pointing with lips
  • analysing the constraints that guide language use, for example by identifying and explaining why words become taboo, for example, the use of Kumunjayi and other word substitution as part of sorry business
  • recognising that there are specific ways of communicating that are associated with particular relationships and situations, for example, ways of behaving during sorry business, public events or meetings, topics only suitable for young fellas and girls, use of hand signs and body language, such as speaking to the side, using indirect references, silences, gestures or eye contact
  • distinguishing different registers of language, for example, language of ceremony, mother in-law language, talk used when communicating with older people
  • analysing intergenerational differences in language use, for example, young people’s language when talking about popular culture, the strong ‘right through’ language of the older generation
  • explaining variations in language use that reflect different levels of formality, authority and status, for example, ways of talking to Elders at formal community events compared to everyday interactions
  • understanding connections between land, language and culture which are expressed by shifting/switching between languages and varieties of language, for example, differences between parents’ clan languages
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Australian languages

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