Curriculum information of Carey Baptist Grammar School

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Learning Areas > Languages

Leader of Learning - Languages: Ms Ellen Moffatt
P: +61 3 9816 1545 E:


Year 10 Subjects IB Subjects VCE Subjects

About the Learning Area

The study of Languages is a significant part of a student's academic experience and forms an important part of the Senior School curriculum at Carey.

Senior School Languages offer students the opportunity to continue their study of Chinese (Mandarin), French, and Indonesian in Year 10. Students can continue their study of these Languages in IB and VCE in Years 11 and 12. Spanish ab initio is available as a start-up Second Language in IB. German ceased to be offered at Year 7 level in 2017 and students will not be able to enrol in Year 10 German after 2019.  Chinese is available for First Language learners in IB and VCE. Other Languages may also be available on a tutorial basis (IB) with external providers or through the Distance Education Centre Victoria or the Victorian School of Languages (VCE). 

The Digital Learning Program provides many exciting opportunities for teaching and learning Languages at Carey, with students able to make use of specialised programs available on Canvas.

The Languages offerings at Carey allow students to choose from some of the major Asian and European Languages, thereby giving them the opportunity to pursue their particular cultural interests and linguistic strengths. Whilst taking into account the student's individual needs and abilities, we encourage them to study a Language for as long as possible and believe that by doing so their lives are enriched significantly. With an emphasis on the five Language skills – reading, listening, speaking, viewing and writing – students are challenged in ways that enhance their receptive and productive communicative abilities and this better equips them for life beyond school.

We believe that a genuine appreciation of other cultures is of real importance. Because a country's culture is expressed strongly through its Language, the best access to culture is through learning Languages. This, in turn, surely extends a student's appreciation of his/her own Language or, in the words of Goethe, 'They who know no language but their own cannot even know their own.'


Senior School students have the chance to continue to learn Chinese from Years 10 to 12. The Language taught is Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin) which is spoken in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore, and by groups of Chinese people living in other Asian countries. Chinese is the second most widely spoken Language in the world and is one of the world's most ancient Languages, with a written history dating back more than 4000 years.

Chinese is taught using communicative methods with an emphasis placed on the skills of speaking and writing, and understanding written, spoken and visual communication. Students are given as many opportunities as possible to express themselves in Chinese, in both oral and written forms. Students are taught both pinyin, a romanised form that helps them remember how to pronounce words, as well as simplified Chinese characters. Aspects of Chinese life are also studied in order for students to understand the unique nature of Chinese culture.

Chinese is divided into two streams: Chinese as a First Language and Chinese as a Second Language. Background speakers do an intensive Language course in Year 10 and can go on to do an IB Group 1 –Language A course or VCE Units 1 to 4 Chinese First Language. After Year 10, Second Language learners can study IB Group 2 – Language B or VCE Units 1 to 4 Chinese as a Second Language (including Chinese as a Second Language – Advanced at Units 3 and 4). These divisions allow us to teach students at a level which is appropriate to them and to address the difficulties specific to both background speakers and Second Language learners.


French is widely spoken around the world including in North America, North and West Africa as well as in several European countries. It has official Language status in many world organisations, including the UN and the IOC. In Year 10, students are introduced to the conventions of the Victorian Certificate of Education as well as some from the International Baccalaureate Diploma. They begin producing more of their own writing and explore the features of various discourse forms. All forms of communication are developed through topic-based study at this level, which is continued into VCE and IB.

During Years 11 and 12, students communicate in French, orally and in writing, about a range of themes using a variety of discourse forms for different audiences and purposes. The student's experience of French is enhanced by the use of authentic materials where appropriate and students are encouraged to exploit their ability to speak, write, read and understand the language as fully as possible.

French is also offered as Language B (Language acquisition) in Years 11 and 12 as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma.


German was not offered at Year 7 level in 2017 and is being progressively removed from our offerings.

In Senior School, German for continuing learners is taught in Years 11 and 12 and is available as part of either the IB Diploma or VCE. Students are instructed not only in the formation and use of the Language but also in the culture and Australian application of the Language. Students are encouraged to develop the ability to converse in a range of situations that they may encounter either in Australia or when travelling. Lesson themes are always placed in the context of modern German-speaking countries and the student's own areas of interest.


Indonesian is offered to continuing Second Language learners in Years 10-12 and is available as part of either the IB Diploma or VCE programs. As the Language of our close neighbour, Bahasa Indonesia is of great strategic importance to Australia. With economic, diplomatic and cultural ties between the two countries increasing, there is a growing demand for graduates who are familiar with Indonesian Language and culture. This is reflected in the Indonesian course at Carey which aims to equip students with the Language skills and cultural understandings to enable them to participate actively in the complex interactions Australia has with a nation so close, and yet so different.

As well as developing increasingly sophisticated Language skills, students are introduced progressively to Indonesian art forms such as wayang puppetry, batik and music. They are also exposed to Indonesian geography, history and contemporary social issues as they progress through the course. Studying Indonesian at Carey is a great way to encounter a rich and diverse culture while gaining valuable skills for a range of future career options.


Spanish is a member of the Romance group of languages. It is spoken chiefly in the Iberian Peninsula and in Latin America by over 400 million people. It is also known as Castilian, after the dialect from which modern Spanish developed. It was carried by Spanish colonists to the Canary Islands, the Antilles, the Philippines, southern North America, the greater part of South America, and the coast of Africa.

In its grammatical structure Spanish generally conforms with French, Italian, Portuguese and the other Romance Languages.

At Carey, we offer Spanish ab initio (for students beginning their study of Spanish) within the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Extension Programs

Students enrolled in Year 10 and 11 Chinese have the opportunity to participate in a China study tour during the first three weeks of Term 2, every second year. Students spend two weeks in China, where they experience real life by attending classes, making friends with local students and visiting important sites around Beijing and Shanghai.

Students of French have the opportunity to travel to France as part of a Carey study tour every two years (numbers permitting). During their tour they stay with French families and attend French schools.

Senior German students are provided with opportunities to attend the screening of German films or to go to a German play. We encourage students to travel to Germany at some point in their study of the Language through exchange programs. 

Students studying Indonesian have an opportunity to participate in a Language and culture tour to Indonesia at least once during their Senior School years. This is on offer to students enrolled in the study of Indonesian from Years 9 to 11. 


All Extension opportunities are subject to student numbers.