Frequently asked questions
Some of the frequently asked questions are listed here if they don't answer your questions please contact us.
When are enrolment applications due for years 9 - 11?
Applications are due in mid November of the year before study commences. Late applications are accepted up until mid February of the year study commences, however places in our courses cannot be guaranteed. Please see the Enrolment application forms for exact dates.
If a student has changed schools, and the new school no longer offers the language studied at the previous school, the new school may submit an application for the student at any time.
When are enrolment applications due for year 12?
Applications are due at the end of September so that students can commence the HSC course in Week 1 of Term 4. Late applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Can I enrol my student once the school year has commenced?
Approval must firstly be sought from the home school’s local Director Educational Leadership (DoE schools) or the Rural and Distance Education Coordinator (other educational providers). Please follow the procedure on the ‘Late or unforeseen and unique circumstances’ form on the Enrolment application forms page. Please note that places in our courses cannot be guaranteed.
What is an intake area? Why can’t my student choose which distance education school they study with?
Each distance education school has a designated intake (catchment) area. We are unable to take students from outside our intake area unless their designated distance education school is full. In this case, the principal of their designated distance education school must provide written approval for the enrolment to proceed to NSW School of Language’s (NSL) principal before an application can be submitted.
My student wants to study more units than you allow. Why can’t they?
Distance Education is a safety net to ensure students complete all requirements for secondary education as set out by NSW Standards Authority (NESA). That is, it is provided by the DoE as a minimum and mandatory provision to ensure students have access to the minimum number of subjects/units required for the RoSA and HSC. It is not provided as an add-on subject. In Stage 6 Distance Education, in Year 11, one extra unit is allowed in addition to NESA’s minimum requirement of 13 units. In Year 12 students can study up to 11 units. This has the added benefit of ensuring NSL students have room on their school timetable for their language study and for contacting their NSL teacher during the school day. It ensures that student workload is manageable with flow-on effects for student wellbeing.
Is distance education right for my student?
If you or your student is unsure if distance education is right for them, ask your student to complete the fun and quick Enrolment quiz also located on our Facebook page.
How does distance education work at NSW School of Languages?
Our students study their chosen language through blended learning - a mix of online coursework, individual speaking lessons and face-to-face days (when they come to the NSL campus).
The instructional materials and coursework are delivered via an online learning platform (Canvas or Moodle). The instructional materials take the student through each module of work step by step. Students watch videos, complete quizzes and activities, download worksheets and then upload the completed worksheets for marking and feedback.
An important aspect of each module is the weekly speaking lesson. Students meet once a week with their teacher via onscreen technologies or in special circumstances by phone if onscreen technologies are not available. They work interactively with their teacher during speaking lessons via a shared document and complete speaking activities based on the current module.
Once each term, the cohort comes to the NSL campus for a face-to-face lesson day. This provides students with the opportunity to meet their language teacher, classmates and to participate in various organised lessons and activities.
My student is highly gifted in languages. Do you offer acceleration?
We do offer acceleration. Please contact NSL for the documentation required for our principal to consider acceleration for your student.
Which course should my Year 11 student enrol in - Beginners? Continuers? In Context? Literature?
Enrolment in a Stage 6 language is dependent on the student’s exposure to the language, not on their ability. When determining the course for which a student is eligible, please refer to our user-friendly eligibility flow charts. Please also see the NESA eligibility criteria. It is important to note that a student must meet all eligibility criteria upon entry to the course.
My child only speaks [Language] very occasionally with their grandparents. Why can’t they do the Stage 6 Beginners course?
Enrolment in a Stage 6 language is dependent on the student’s exposure to the language, not on their ability. The NESA eligibility criteria states that to be eligible for a Beginners course, “students have little or no previous knowledge of the language”. In Beginners enrolment application forms, you will be asked to complete a Statutory Declaration stating your child’s exposure to the language. In our experience, students who have some background of the language at home usually do not meet the criteria for Beginners courses. Entry into a course is based on the information provided on the enrolment application form and our highly experienced teachers continue to monitor eligibility during the course.
My student didn’t study a language in Year 9 but wants to study one in Year 10. Is that possible?
Yes, if they have no experience in the language, they can complete the first 100 hours of the course. On successful completion of the course, they will receive 100 hours for the Year 10 course on their RoSA. If the student has background in the language and can demonstrate that they have met the outcomes of the Year 9 course, they may enrol in Year 10 under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). An RPL check will need to be carried out by NSL prior to enrolment to ensure the student has met the outcomes of the Year 9 course. It is important to note that, as a student enrolled in Year 10 with RPL, they will only receive 100 hours for the course on their RoSA. Please refer to the RPL form on the Enrolment application forms page.
My student didn’t study a language in Year 11 but wants to study one in Year 12. Is that possible?
This is not possible for Beginners courses. For other courses, it may be possible if the student is a native speaker of the language or lived in a country where the language is spoken. The student must demonstrate that they have met the outcomes of the Year 11 course then they can enrol under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). A check will need to be carried out by NSL prior to enrolment to ensure the student has met the outcomes of the Year 11 course. It is important to note that, as a student enrolled in Year 12 with RPL, they will only receive 2 units for the course in the HSC. Please refer to the RPL form on the Enrolment application forms page.
How do I pay for my child’s course?
Your child’s school is responsible for payment of course access fee to NSL on submission of the enrolment application. It is then up to your child’s school to negotiate the payment with you. Please do not pay through NSL’s Parental Online Payment Portal. Please refer to the Course fees page for further information.
My child wants to study a language at NSL but I can’t afford the course access fee.
Please discuss this with your child’s school. Most schools have budgetary means to assist students whose families are undergoing financial hardship.
Do you issue refunds?
Any refunds issued are at the discretion of NSW School of Languages in line with DoE policy. Please refer to the Course fees page for further information.