Tamil Continuers Stage 6 Syllabus Original Published version updated

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Tamil Continuers

Stage 6


Original Published version updated

June 2009 – Assessment and Reporting information updated

February 2012 – Assessment and Reporting information updated

Published by Board of Studies NSW

GPO Box 5300

Sydney 2001

Tel: (02) 9367 8111

Fax: (02) 9367 8484

Internet: www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au
ISBN 978 1 74301 004 4

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1 The Higher School Certificate Program of Study 5

2 Introduction to Tamil in the Stage 6 Curriculum 6

2.1 The Language 6

2.2 Description of Target Group 6

2.3 Rationale 6

3 Continuum of Learning for Tamil Stage 6 Students 7

4 Aims 9

5 Objectives 9

6 Course Structure 10

7 Objectives and Outcomes 11

7.1 Table of Objectives and Outcomes 11

7.2 Key Competencies 12

8 Content of Tamil Preliminary and HSC Courses 13

8.1 Themes, Topics and Sub-topics 13

8.2 In-depth Study 15

8.3 Tasks 15

8.4 Text Types 16

8.5 Vocabulary 16

8.6 Dictionaries 16

8.7 Grammar 16


9 Course Requirements 20

10 Post-school Opportunities 20

11 Assessment and Reporting 21

1 The Higher School Certificate Program of Study

The purpose of the Higher School Certificate program of study is to:

  • provide a curriculum structure which encourages students to complete secondary education;

  • foster the intellectual, social and moral development of students, in particular developing their:

  • knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes in the fields of study they choose

  • capacity to manage their own learning
  • desire to continue learning in formal or informal settings after school

  • capacity to work together with others

  • respect for the cultural diversity of Australian society;

  • provide a flexible structure within which students can prepare for:

  • further education and training

  • employment

  • full and active participation as citizens;

  • provide formal assessment and certification of students’ achievements;

  • provide a context within which schools also have the opportunity to foster students’ physical and spiritual development.

2 Introduction to Tamil in the Stage 6 Curriculum

2.1 The Language

The language to be studied and assessed is the modern standard/official version of Tamil.

Tamil belongs to the Dravidian group of languages. Tamil is widely spoken in Southern India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. It is also spoken in a number of other countries around the world including Australia. Centuries of influence from other cultures and religions has inevitably resulted in numerous borrowings of words from other languages. These have become an acceptable part of Tamil usage. There are also common borrowings from English in such fields as music, science and technology. As a result of the scattering of Tamil speakers across the world, there are some marked variations in the spoken language. These variations may surface in different social situations, and are acceptable, providing they occur in the appropriate context.

2.2 Description of Target Group

The Tamil Continuers Stage 6 Syllabus is designed for students who, typically, will have studied Tamil for 400 to 500 hours by the time they have completed Year 12. Students with less formal experience than this will also be able to meet the requirements of the syllabus successfully.

2.3 Rationale

The study of Tamil contributes to the overall education of students, most particularly in the area of communication, but also in the areas of cross-cultural understanding, cognitive development, literary and general knowledge. It provides access to the culture of communities which use the language and promotes understanding of different attitudes and values within the wider Australian community and beyond.

Tamil is widely spoken in South India and Sri Lanka. It is also the language of many Tamils who have migrated in large numbers to different parts of the world including Malaysia and Singapore, and in more recent times, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and Australia.

Tamil is one of the oldest languages in the world. The Tamil speaking population lives all over the world. Tamil culture is not only very old but also highly developed. In Australia, Tamil has a large personnel and resource base.

Learning Tamil provides the opportunity for students to identify themselves with the local Tamil community and their activities, and also to understand the Tamil culture and tradition. This would help to build a rich multicultural society in Australia.

The study of Tamil provides access to an important cultural and linguistic heritage and can provide a pathway for students into a number of post-secondary options. Employment options may include areas such as tourism, finance, services and business.

3 Continuum of Learning for Tamil Stage 6 Students

Stages 1–3

Human Society and Its Environment

Stages 4–5

Languages (mandatory 100 hours)

Stage 5

Languages elective courses

Workplace University TAFE Other
Stage 6

Tamil Continuers



The New South Wales curriculum provides opportunities for students to study a language or languages from Early Stage 1 through to Stage 6.

In the K–6 (Stages 1–3) Human Society and Its Environment key learning area, students develop an awareness of languages and may learn about the world through the study of a language.
In Years 7–10, a language is a mandatory component of the School Certificate, with students being required to complete 100 hours of language study.
Stage 6 offers students the opportunity to continue the study of a language at Continuers level. Students may also begin the study of a language in Stage 6.

4 Aims

The aims of the syllabus are to develop the student’s:

  • ability to use Tamil to communicate with others;

  • understanding and appreciation of the cultural contexts in which Tamil is used;

  • ability to reflect on their own culture(s) through the study of other cultures;

  • understanding of language as a system;
  • ability to make connections between Tamil and English, and/or other languages;

  • cognitive, learning, and social skills;

  • potential to apply Tamil to work, further study, training, or leisure.

5 Objectives

The student should be able to achieve the following objectives:

Objective 1 — exchange information, opinions, and experiences in Tamil

Objective 2 — express ideas through the production of original texts in Tamil

Objective 3 — analyse, process, and respond to texts that are in Tamil

Objective 4 — understand aspects of the language and culture of Tamil-speaking communities

Meeting these objectives will involve using the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, either individually or in combination, and being able to move between Tamil and English.

6 Course Structure

The Preliminary Course (120 indicative hours)

The Preliminary course has, as its organisational focus, themes and associated topics. The student's skills in, and knowledge and understanding of, Tamil will be developed through tasks associated with a range of texts and text types that reflect the themes and topics. The student will also gain an insight into the culture and the language of Tamil-speaking communities through the study of a range of texts.

The HSC Course (120 indicative hours)

The HSC course focuses on the three prescribed themes and associated topics. The student will gain a broader and deeper understanding of Tamil and will extend and refine their communication skills in the language, as they expand the range of tasks, texts and text types studied, the student's knowledge and understanding of the culture and the language of Tamil-speaking communities will develop further.

7 Objectives and Outcomes

The outcomes listed below represent the knowledge, skills and understanding, that the student will achieve by the end of the HSC course based on this syllabus. The outcomes have been linked to one objective but may derive from more than one. The degree to which the student achieves these outcomes will be reported in the performance scale.

7.1 Table of Objectives and Outcomes


The student will:

1. exchange information, opinions, and experiences in Tamil

The student:

1.1 uses a range of strategies to maintain communication

    1. conveys information appropriate to context, purpose and audience

    2. exchanges and justifies opinions and ideas on known topics

    3. reflects on aspects of past, present and future experience

2. express ideas through the production of original texts in Tamil

    1. applies knowledge of language structures to create original text

    2. describes, narrates and reflects on real or imaginary experiences in the past, present or future

    3. organises and sequences ideas and information

3. analyse, process, and respond to texts that are in Tamil

    1. identifies and conveys the gist, main points, supporting points and detailed items of specific information

    2. infers point of view, attitudes or emotions from language and context

    3. summarises, interprets and evaluates information

    4. compares and contrasts aspects of texts

4. understand aspects of the language and culture of Tamil-speaking communities

4.1 recognises and employs language appropriate to different social contexts

    1. identifies values, attitudes and beliefs of cultural significance

    2. reflects upon significant aspects of language and culture

7.2 Key Competencies

The Tamil Stage 6 Continuers course provides a powerful context within which to develop general competencies considered essential for the acquisition of effective, higher-order thinking skills necessary for further education, work and everyday life.

Key competencies are embedded in the Tamil Continuers Stage 6 Syllabus to enhance student learning. The key competencies of communicating ideas and information and collecting, analysing and organising information reflect core skills in language learning and are explicit in the objectives and outcomes of the syllabus. The other key competencies are developed through the methodology of the syllabus and through classroom pedagogy. Students interact with each other, and through this interaction, the key competencies, planning and organising activities and working with others and in teams, are developed. In interacting with others via communications technology, the student will develop the key competency of using technology. The skills associated with the analysis of texts, such as the ability to comprehend meaning from context and using a dictionary, contribute towards the student’s development of the key competency solving problems.

8 Content of Tamil Preliminary and HSC Courses

8.1 Themes, Topics and Sub-topics

There are three prescribed themes:

  • the individual

  • the Tamil-speaking communities

  • the changing world.

Each theme has a number of prescribed topics and suggested sub-topics. The placement of topics under one or more of the three themes is intended to provide a particular perspective or perspectives for each of the topics. The suggested sub-topics expand on the topics and provide guidance to students and teachers on how the topics may be treated.

The theme the individual enables the student to explore aspects of their personal world, for example, sense of self, aspirations, personal values, opinions, ideas, and relationships with others. This theme also enables the student to study topics from the perspective of other individuals.
The theme the Tamil-speaking communities explores topics from the perspective of groups within those communities or the communities as a whole, and encourages the student to reflect on their own culture and other cultures.
The theme the changing world enables the student to explore change as it affects aspects of the world of work and other topics, for example, changing lifestyles and status of women.

8.1.1 Table of Themes and Topics


the individual


the Tamil-speaking communities


the changing world


  • personal identity,

  • personal details and qualities

  • family and friends

  • daily life

  • free time and leisure activities

  • relationships

  • personal views and opinions,

  • views on the future

  • cultural differences

  • personal priorities/ preferences (extended family living away from home)

  • education and aspirations,

  • school

  • further studies

  • work experience and careers


  • culture and traditions,

  • family values

  • attire and appearance

  • social interaction

  • festivals and ceremonies

  • the past and present,

  • famous persons and events

  • places of historical importance

  • the arts and entertainment,

  • film

  • radio

  • television

  • sports and recreation

  • modern short stories

  • folk tales

  • fables and legends

  • travel and tourism in a Tamil-speaking country,

  • travel

  • banking

  • shopping

  • health

  • obtaining assistance and advice

  • visiting friends

  • studying in a Tamil-speaking country


  • changing lifestyles,

  • family life

  • food

  • care of children/the aged

  • activites (children, parents)

  • status of women,

  • the role of women as depicted in literature

  • significant women in the 20th century

  • the changing role of women and its impact on society

  • the world of work,

  • different types of work

  • workplace conditions

  • employment opportunities

8.2 In-depth Study

The student will be required to undertake one in-depth study in the HSC course. The in-depth study has been designed to enable the student to extend their understanding of an aspect or aspects of one of the topics or sub-topics listed in the table above, or to explore links between two or more of these topics or sub-topics.

The in-depth study may provide the student with opportunities to make comparisons between their learning and personal experience. It is expected that at least three different texts will form the basis of the in-depth study, so that the student is able to explore their chosen subject in sufficient depth. The student may refer to the Tamil resources list published on the Board of Studies website (www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au).
The texts chosen to support the in-depth study will depend upon the availability of appropriate resources. Texts could include, for example, film, newspaper article, documentary, short story, song, or oral history, either in their original form, or adapted.

The in-depth study texts may involve some reference to text in English, such as sub-titled films, or supporting articles and/or information. However, the student will be expected to present and discuss the in-depth study in Tamil. Refer to the HSC External Examination Specifications for further information.

8.3 Tasks

This syllabus recognises the importance of tasks as an organising principle in structuring a program that allows the student to work towards meeting the objectives and outcomes.

Tasks, which are broadly defined as opportunities for the purposeful use of language, must be selected and designed so that the student can develop and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and understanding at increasingly complex levels.
Tasks can be described as having five elements:

  • a purpose (a reason for undertaking the task that goes beyond the practice of the language for its own sake)

  • a context (this may be real, simulated, or imaginary, and include aspects such as where, when, who is involved)

  • an audience (the person or people at whom the task is directed)

  • a process (thinking, problem-solving, creating)

  • a product (a result that can be described in terms of achievement of the purpose of the task and in the student’s overall cognitive development).

8.4 Text Types

Text types for receptive use in teaching, learning and assessment are not prescribed. Students are encouraged to read, view and listen to a wide range of texts, including authentic texts.

In the external examination, the following text types are prescribed for productive use:



diary/journal entry


letter (formal/informal)





script of a play

script of a speech or talk


text of an interview

In the oral examination students participate in a conversation and discussion.

8.5 Vocabulary

Although there is no prescribed vocabulary list, the student should be familiar with a range of vocabulary relevant to the topics prescribed in the syllabus.

8.6 Dictionaries

The student should be encouraged to use dictionaries. It is expected that teachers will assist the student to develop the necessary skills and confidence to use dictionaries effectively.

Suitable editions are published with the resources on the Board of Studies website (www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au). Students are able to use monolingual and/or bilingual print dictionaries in the written examination. Information regarding the use of dictionaries in the HSC examination may be found in Assessment and Reporting in Tamil Continuers Stage 6.

8.7 Grammar

Grammar can be described as the organisation of, and relationship between, all the elements that constitute a language as it functions.

There are many different theories of grammar and a number of different approaches towards its teaching and learning. The categories used below are not intended to promote any particular theory of grammar or to favour one methodology over another.
It is recognised that students will already have acquired a significant understanding of the function of grammar in Tamil through prior knowledge or study of Tamil.
However, developing students’ ability to convey meaning effectively in a range of contexts will necessarily involve extending their awareness of the system of structures underlying the language, as well as their ability to apply and adapt this knowledge.
The following grammatical structures are those that students studying Tamil in a Continuers course are expected to recognise and use.

9 Course Requirements

For the Preliminary course:

  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course.

For the HSC course:

  • the Preliminary course is a prerequisite

  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course

  • themes and topics are prescribed for study.

10 Post-school Opportunities

The study of Tamil provides the student with knowledge, understanding and skills that form a valuable foundation for a range of courses at university and other tertiary institutions.

11 Assessment and Reporting

Advice on appropriate assessment practice in relation to the Tamil Continuers syllabus is contained in Assessment and Reporting in Tamil Continuers Stage 6. That document provides general advice on assessment in Stage 6 as well as the specific requirements for the Preliminary and HSC courses. The document contains:

  • suggested components and weightings for the internal assessment of the Preliminary course

  • mandatory components and weightings for the internal assessment of the HSC course

  • the HSC examination specifications, which describe the format of the external HSC examination.

The document and other resources and advice related to assessment in Stage 6 Tamil Continuers are available on the Board’s website at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc

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