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

Curriculum content descriptions

Expand vocabulary in the language through word-formation processes and recognise and use simple language structures

[Key concepts: word formation, word class, grammatical person and number, negation, metalanguage; Key processes: noticing, comparing, applying, understanding, modifying meaning]


  • exploring known word formation processes, for example, changing a word with the addition or change of a suffix or prefix to convey different meanings
  • constructing expressions that refer to people, places, things and events using:
    • nouns and adjectives in phrases, for example, compound nouns, reduplications and nominalisations, adjectives without an associated noun
    • sentences without verbs, for example, ‘This (is) my bag’
    • pronouns, for example, personal, kinship, demonstrative and interrogative in all persons and numbers
    • determiners and quantifiers, for example, ‘some’, ‘every’, ‘other’, ‘few’, ‘much’, ‘all’, and words for groups
    • marking to indicate possession and other types of association, for example, ‘Let’s go for water’
    • transitive and intransitive verbs
    • verbs of stance used in existential expressions, for example, ‘There is a creek lying near the road’
    • verbs to talk about actions, processes, thoughts and feelings
    • moods of verbs, including statements, questions, imperatives, commands, intention, purpose, likelihood, reported speech
    • negation
  • expressing time, manner, attitude and place according to available language resources, such as:
    • tenses, including past, present and future/non-past
    • temporal expressions, for example, day–night cycle, lunar and seasonal cycles, ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘soon’, ‘recent’, ‘long ago’, expressions for cosmological time
    • expressions of frequency, for example, ‘often’, ‘always’, ‘once’, ‘briefly’
    • attitudinal particles, for example, ‘maybe’, ‘it is said’, ‘what do you say?’, ‘would you mind?’, ‘you see’
    • locational cases, for example, ‘in’, ‘an’, ‘at’, ‘near’, ‘besides’, ‘to’, ‘towards’, ‘from’
    • adverbs of manner, location and time, for example, ‘again’, ‘more’, ‘in turn’, ‘too late’, ‘as well’
    • structuring and linking clauses, for example, using coordination, subordination, embedding
  • understanding that rules vary between languages, for example, in relation to word-formation, word order at phrase and sentence level
  • making comparisons and identifying patterns in and between languages, for example, free and fixed word order, tenses in verbs, use of affixes versus prepositions
  • noticing similarities between particular vocabulary sets in languages from the same region, such as words for body parts, kinship terms
  • developing metalanguage for talking about language, for example, noun phrases, suffixes, prefixes, tense, transitivity, using resources from both the language and English
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
ScOT terms

Australian languages

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