Diversity of languages

Lesson overview

Learning Area:English – Languages – Mathematics – Humanities and social sciences
Age Group:Primary Upper (10-12 years) – Secondary Lower (13-14 years) – Secondary Middle (15-16 years)


Students interpret graphs and statistics to recognise and understand the cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia.


These activities give students the opportunity to appreciate the language diversity that exists in most Australian schools and classrooms. Further information may be downloaded from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


Download student copies of the worksheets above or display on IWB.

  1. Discuss Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity using the information presented in the tables and pie graphs. (Teacher’s background information Racism. No Way! Australia’s cultural diversity).
  2. Use the information from the table Top ten languages spoken at home 2011 to create a pie graph. (Teachers see Skwirk).
  3. Take a census of the languages spoken by students in the class or their families and present them in a graph form.
  • Create a profile of the linguistic diversity of your class or school.
  • Choose a language represented in the school and research its origins and connections.
  • Choose English words and research their derivations (etymology).
  • Go to Quick Stats on the ABS website and research the range of Indigenous languages that exist or have existed in your area.