School operations

Languages Education

Staffing a language program

A language program must be delivered by a Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registered teacher or staff with permission to teach.

VIT registration requirements

All teachers in Victoria must be registered with the VIT. There are different categories of registration: full registration, provisional registration, early childhood teacher and non-practising teacher. For information about VIT registration requirements, refer to Registering as a teacher.

Languages teaching qualifications

In addition to general teaching qualifications, the recommended qualifications for teaching languages in Victorian government schools are:

  • a 3-year major in the language, or a Statement of Equivalence (for language proficiency at third year exit level) from a Victorian university which teaches the language
  • an approved languages methodology course (including both theory and practicum).

Entry requirements for a languages methodology course include a 3-year major in the language, or a Statement of Equivalence (for language proficiency at third year exit level).

Statement of Equivalence

Procedures have been developed by the Department in conjunction with Victorian universities to enable universities to assess the oral and written language proficiency of potential languages teachers, and their understanding of the relevant society, culture and literature. The criteria for judgement are equivalent to those used for assessing students exiting third year tertiary level. For more information, refer to:

Prospective candidates need to contact the university of their choice to arrange an assessment. Any costs involved will be the responsibility of the candidate. Upon the completion of the assessment, the university will provide the applicant with the results. The applicant should retain the assessment record for use in providing evidence of language proficiency for registration with the VIT, to prospective employers, or for entry to relevant courses.

For a list of Victorian universities, refer to:

Permission to Teach

Permission to Teach (PTT) is an alternative authorisation to teach and exists to address a workforce shortage or as a pathway to teacher registration. Schools experiencing difficulties recruiting a VIT registered teacher to deliver a language program can offer a short-term employment to an Education Support staff to undertake the duties of a teacher in delivering and/or assessing student participation in the school’s language program.

Schools choosing to employ an Education Support staff need to support the staff to gain a PTT. The VIT will require the schools to provide evidence that they have attempted to employ a VIT registered teacher to fill the teaching position. PTT is not a renewable form of registration and is limited to a maximum of 3 years for any grant. During this period, schools must support the PTT holder to progress towards teacher registration. For further information, refer to Applying for Permission to Teach.

Recruitment options

Normal recruitment and employment processes apply for language teachers. Information about employment in Victorian government schools including a link to the online job search and application tool, Recruitment Online, is available at Careers.

When a language teaching position is hard-to-staff, schools can explore the range of incentives the Department offers to increase the supply of high-quality teachers in schools, including:

  • Financial and non-financial incentives to attract and retain teachers in hard-to-staff positions. Evidence shows that a combination of incentives is most effective at encouraging teachers to move where they're needed most.
  • Targeted initiative to attract more teachers aims to attract excellent teachers to fill hard-to-staff positions in government schools across the state. It also provides support to teachers settling into their new roles.
  • Teacher professional development grants to support job satisfaction and career development. Teachers can receive a financial incentive payment and time release to undertake professional development.

Eligibility for targeted financial incentives are determined based on the geographical remoteness of a school, subject specialisation, and factors relevant to hard-to-staff positions within the school. Should a school identify a particular language as hard to staff subject and if approved, an incentive position can be created for the language position. Refer to: Teacher incentives program

Language Teacher Register

The Language Teacher Register assists schools find qualified language teachers to fill vacant language teaching positions in government schools. The register is open to graduating, graduate and currently employed language teachers who are seeking a language teaching position in a government primary or secondary school. Eligible language teachers can register using the 'SurveyMonkey' online form. 

School principals may contact the Languages Unit at if they are seeking to employ a language teacher. When a relevant teaching position becomes available, a registrant will be sent, via email, the details of this position. The onus is on the registrant to contact the school and formally apply for the position.

Further options for identifying languages teachers

A relevant language-specific teacher association or Languages Regional Project Officer may be able to help to connect schools with qualified languages teachers who are looking for employment or who live in the local area. Contact details are available on the Professional learning page.

The Victorian School of Languages or Community Languages Victoria may be able to assist with identifying a qualified languages teacher or a teacher who can get permission to teach from VIT whilst they are upgrading their qualifications to get full VIT registration.

Guidance chapter on staffing a language program

Reviewed 08 June 2021

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