Slovenian VCE Course GuidelinesThe Australian Year 12 Certificate
After the completion of 12 years of secondary studies and Year 12 examinations in five subjects of free choice (only English is compulsory) Australian secondary students receive the secondary school certificate, which serves as entry into employment, further training or entry into tertiary studies. Since the certificate serves also as an entry to tertiary studies, the choice of subjects is conditioned by the prerequisites required by various faculties for further studies.
Students may chose 4 or 5 subjects (or more) according to their interests and future plans, only English is compulsory. The certificate is given various names across the 6 states and two territories of Australia.
In Victoria it is at present called the Victorian Certificate of Education, and referred to as the VCE. In New South Wales it is called Higher School Certificate and referred to as the HSC. Standards are determined by each state and vary in expectations, content, assessment methods and methodology of teaching, although equivalence of standards and credits is established and a consensus reached.
Such consensus has been reached particularly in the case of a number of VCE accredited languages, referred to as Languages Other Than English (LOTEs), which include Slovenian. For these languages common examination papers are prepared, with interstate established standards and formats for students undertaking the Year 12 examination in any state or territory of Australia.
The Victorian Certificate of EducationIn Victoria the system described above has undergone major changes, since the education reform of senior studies, which began in 1986 and was implemented in 1991.
The senior levels (Year 11 and Year 12) were set up as a two-year course of studies across all subject areas. The two-year VCE course was structured in 4 progressive Units (semester length) over the two years, with pre-determined structure of progressive and varied assessment tasks and teaching approach. and the number and type of work requirements.
The structure for all Languages Other Than English was identical and defined by the thematic approach to content and integrated teaching of vocabulary and linguistic elements (grammar).
The VCE was a marked departure from the traditional approach, where the teaching focused on preparation or the examinations at the end of Year 12. The new course structure and methods of teaching and assesssment deeply influenced the educational methodology at lower levels of the secondary school system of Victoria.
Apart from 4 Unit structure, the elements of VCE comprise themes and topics, grammar, text types, vocabulary and kinds of writing. They are common to all four units of the study, and they are designed to be drawn upon in an integrated way, as appropriate to the linguistic needs of the student, and the outcomes for the unit.
The themes and topics are the vehicle through which the student will demonstrate achievement of the outcomes, in the sense that they form the subject of the activities and tasks the student undertakes. The grammar, vocabulary, text types and kinds of writing are linked, both to each other, and to the themes and topics. Together, as common areas of study, they add a further layer of definition to the knowledge and skills required for successful achievement of the outcomes in unit 1 and 2 and outcomes in unit 3 and 4.
The common areas of study have been selected to provide the opportunity for the student to build upon what is familiar, as well as develop knowledge and skills in new and more challenging areas.
VCE Slovenian (Year 11 and 12)
Slovenian was accredited as a VCE subject in 1980. The process of accreditation, reviewing, assessment process and later reform was undertaken by Aleksandra Ceferin (B.A., M.A., Dip.Ed) She also assisted in the establishment of Slovenian HSC in New South Wales. About 260 students have gained the VCE in Slovenian language in Victoria and New South Wales since 1980.
As a member of Field of Studies Committe for LOTE, Aleksandra Ceferin participated in the senior secondary studies begun in 1986, which in later stages included a process of retraining teachers and course-writing. She took part in work-groups writing German sample VCE Units. She produced the first complete 2-year model syllabus for VCE Slovenian, published by Victorian School of Languages under the title Slovenian Course Outlines for Levels 7 - 10 and VCE
In 2000 a review of VCE senior studies took place and some changes carried out. The themes to be studied are now prescribed. They must be studied progressively through a variety of topics and sub-topics throughout Units 1 - 4. They are:
1. The Individual
2. The Slovenian-speaking Communities
3. The Changing World
A list of VCE Themes, Topics and Sub-topics has been prepared as a resource to be used by the teachers and students of Slovenian, for selection of topics and sub-topics for study. The three themes provide the focus, topics and sub-topics the flexibility of choice. Together with the list of topics and sub-topic, Slovenian VCE study resources, an extensive collection of available resource materials on eight topics has been provided.
In Units 1 and 2 the award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher's assessment of the student's overall performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit. Designated assessment tasks are provided in the details for each unit. Teachers must develop courses that provide opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement of outcomes.
The Board of Studies will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.
In Slovenian the student's level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework and two end-of-year examinations. Percentage contributions to the final assessment are as follows:
- Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 25 per cent
- Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 25 per cent
- Units 3 and 4 examinations: 50 per cent.
VCE Slovenian study is designed to enable students to:
- use Slovenian to communicate with others;
- understand and appreciate the cultural contexts in which Slovenian is used;
- understand their own culture(s) through the study of other cultures;
- understand language as a system;
- make connections between Slovenian and English, and/or other languages;
- apply Slovenian to work, further study, training or leisure.
Information about the VCE Slovenian and available resources have been published in:
Languages Other Than English
Study Design: Slovenian
Board of Studies, 2001
The publication is available from Board of Studies in all the states of Australia.