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ITAN103 - Elementary Italian B or SPAN103 - Elementary Spanish B

Unit rationale, description and aim

Teaching Languages to primary school students requires an understanding of language acquisition theory and practice, and a repertoire of age–appropriate practical strategies, activities and resources that engage and stimulate thinking and creativity.

This unit is designed to establish a knowledge base for pre–service teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in Languages Education for primary (F–6) students. Areas explored include relevant curriculum and policy documents, current languages pedagogy including comprehensible input and intercultural language learning, strategies for teaching receptive and productive skills, sourcing and developing resources, long– and short–term planning and evaluation, age– and stage–appropriate assessment and feedback, general capabilities and cross–curriculum priorities, and professional standards for accomplished teaching of languages and cultures.

This unit aims to provide pre–service primary teachers with the knowledge and practical skills to deliver Languages Education using effective contemporary languages pedagogy.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe underpinning principles and practices of teaching and learning languages at primary school level through the development of a personal learning plan (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO2 - Demonstrate understanding of models of pedagogy for teaching and assessing a language across the range of learners (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO3 - Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural protocols of a language (GA5; APST 2.1)

LO4 - Develop a range of language learning and teaching activities and sequences for primary students (K-6), which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources (including safe and ethical use of ICT resources) (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5)

LO5 - Apply the relationships between learning task design, student learning, assessment, feedback and reporting in Languages, and how they impact and inform teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.


Topics will include:

  • The Australian Curriculum: Languages, and relevant state/territory curriculum and policy documents.
  • Contemporary research, theories and understandings of language acquisition, including the Communicative Approach and Comprehensible Input, with its variations such as Total Physical Response and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, and also intercultural language teaching and learning.
  • Strategies for effective teaching and learning languages and developing the skills of Communicating and Understanding including listening (and viewing), speaking, reading and writing.
  • Sourcing and developing age-appropriate resources, tasks and activities that scaffold language learning and maintenance, including ICTs.
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating sequences of language-learning for specific school and student contexts.
  • Catering for a range of learners from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds.
  • Age- and stage-appropriate diagnostic, formative and summative assessment, and feedback.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be exposed to a range of ideas, strategies, approaches and resources that may differ from how they themselves learned a second language. Approaches such as Comprehensible Input, Total Physical Response, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Story-telling, Accelerated Integrated Method and Communicative, need to be analysed, trialled and evaluated to determine those they can implement successfully and which, more importantly, will meet the needs of their future students in school. Different practical techniques, including language modelling, need to be rehearsed among peers who can provide feedback on their effectiveness.

This is a 10-credit point unit that requires approximately 150 hours over the semester to complete the learning and skill development required. Required knowledge is disseminated though lectures, reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, videos, etc, but real understanding comes when each individual translates theory into action in the planning of learning activities, and from the practical experience of rehearsing and presenting strategies to peers. 

Technology Enhanced Learning

This unit uses ‘Learning Environment Online’ (LEO) for the provision of lecture and tutorial content, required and/or further readings, and other unit material. Recorded lectures will be made available to students through LEO. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes and to develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The focus of this unit is what to teach, how to teach it, and, from that knowledge and skill, how to prepare a lesson plan. This is reflected in the assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 1: analysis of the curriculum – knowing what to teach.

Assessment Task 2: resource folio and reflection – knowing how to teach it: putting into tangible and practical form the knowledge of how to teach Languages to young learners (theoretical basis of current languages pedagogy), what resources and strategies to use to cater for diverse learners, together with valid justification.

Assessment Task 3: Lesson plans: putting into usable form the knowledge and skills gained in the development of Assessment Task1 and Assessment Task 2 - the product needed to confidently enter a classroom and teach effectively.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Turnitin will be used as a means for submitting, marking, and returning of assessment tasks. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Analysis of the Curriculum: analysis, skills audit and professional learning plan

  1. Analysis of F-2. 3-4 and 5-6 Bands of the F-10 Program, Band Descriptions, Content Descriptions and elaborations, Achievement Standards and Work Samples.
  2. Self-audit to identify key gaps in pre-service teacher’s knowledge, understandings and skills.
  3. Design of a learning plan and timeline to develop the curriculum and target language knowledge and skills required.  




Assessment Task 2:

Resource Folio and Critical Reflection

1. Creation of a folio of 7 – 10 practical activities covering a range of topics and skills, within which:

  • curriculum objectives and content are addressed;
  • a range of strategies and resources, including ICT, are used;
  • diverse learner backgrounds and needs are catered for;
  • higher order thinking is promoted;
  • provision is made for assessment of student learning and feedback;
  • cross curricular priorities of the Australian Curriculum are addressed.

2. Critical evaluation of the effectiveness of the folio .


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Lesson Planning

Development of an outline for a 12 lesson unit and a series of at least three sequential lessons for that unit. These must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways in which students learn Languages;
  • age-appropriate learning objectives, content, teaching and learning strategies and resources, including ICT;
  •  a range of strategies that cater for diverse learners and promote critical and creative thinking.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Smith, S. & Conti, G. (2016) The language teacher toolkit.  ISBN: 152321482; ISBN-13: 978-1523214822. Conti, G. & Smith, S. (2019) Breaking the sound barrier: Teaching languages learners how to listen. ISBN 978-1-0969-7388-1

Conti, G. & Smith, S. (2019) Breaking the Sound Barrier (Teaching Languages Learners How to Listen); ISBN 978-1-0969-7388-1

VanPatten, B. (2017) While we’re on the Topic: BVP on Language, Acquisition, and Classroom Practice. Alexandria, VA: The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. ISBN: 978-1-942544-57-9

Scarino, A., & Liddicoat, A. (2009) Teaching and learning languages: A guide. Curriculum Corporation. ISBN: 978-1-74200-081-7

Australian Curriculum: Languages – access the appropriate target language

Recommended references

Smith, S. (2018) Becoming an outstanding languages teacher. ISBN: 978-1-138-05662-6 (hbk); 978-1-138-05663-3 (pbk); 978-1-315-1652-2 (ebk). London: Routledge.

Walz, T. (2015). TPRS with Chinese Characteristics: Making students fluent and literate through comprehensible input Lightning Source UK Ltd. ISBN-13: 978-0692442906; ISBN-10: 0692442901.


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