Language conventions

The language conventions tests assess spelling, grammar and punctuation. Literacy knowledge and skills are essential to effective communication across all learning areas. However, the tools of language, including language conventions, are explicitly developed in the English learning area. Therefore the content assessed in the language conventions tests is aligned to the Australian Curriculum: English.

The language conventions tests focus on the use and knowledge of language conventions in written standard Australian English. These skills are essential to the development of reading and writing. The content of the language conventions tests particularly complements the writing tests where spelling, grammar and punctuation are explicitly assessed in context. However, students’ understanding of language conventions is also necessary for reading.

National minimum standards describe some of the skills and understandings students are generally expected to demonstrate at their particular year of schooling. There are two sets of minimum standards for language conventions – minimum standards for spelling, and minimum standards for grammar and punctuation. This is because it is not possible to establish a single assessment scale for all these areas. The standards are intended to be a snapshot of typical achievement and do not describe the full range of what students are taught or what they may achieve.