Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages / Year 3 to 6 / Understanding / Role of language and culture

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Curriculum content descriptions

Explore connections between identity and cultural values and beliefs and the expression of these connections in an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language

[Key concepts: Country/Place, cultural expression and transmission, values, beliefs, spirituality; Key processes: observing, making connections, discussing, investigating]


  • understanding the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures in caring for Country/Place and the environment
  • investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples express their relationship with the natural environment through language, for example, in relation to seasons, stars, reef, rivers, waterholes, plants and animals
  • understanding the importance and significance of Welcome to Country/Place, for example, through discussions with Elders
  • understanding that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages are storehouses of cultural, environmental and social knowledge
  • recognising that song and song language play a central role as storehouses of knowledge
  • understanding that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages have a rich oral literature, which recounts the epic journeys and events associated with totemic ancestors/cultural heroes, and understanding that these stories map the land and embody the values and mores of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • understanding and discussing the importance of story and the role of storytelling in transmitting language and culture
  • recognising ways cultural values are expressed in language, for example, through forms of address, speech prohibitions and styles, respect, land–language associations and non-verbal communicative behaviours
  • observing that concepts may be culture-specific, for example, capturing how relationships are structured; how time and quantity are expressed; how land, water, sea and sky are viewed, spatial awareness
  • recognising that Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages have various social, spiritual and cultural functions in communities
  • identifying how the target language categorises things differently from English, for example, generic words and specific words for animals and plants, such as ‘kangaroo’ and ‘tree’, and consider reasons for this
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Australian languages

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