Slovenian courses in Australia 1998-2005


The institution offering Slovenian is the Victorian School of Languages in Victoria (since 1977) and  the Saturday School of Community Languages in New South Wales (since 1979).

For the last twenty years students in Australia have been able to select Slovenian as one of their Higher School Certificate subjects (matriculation/high school graduation/matura). They could select it in preference to any other HSC subject. The Higher School Certificate (HSC) in New South Wales and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in Victoria is the responsibility of an independent statutory body in each state – the Board of Studies. The Board functions independently from the Department of Education and the universities, and has the responsibility for undertaking reforms, setting standards for all fields of study, publication of requirements, assessment procedures and methodologies. A committee or reference group is established for each subject or language, which prepares materials specific to that subject/language according to the guidelines established for all subjects by the Board of Studies.

It is Australian government policy to encourage and support the study of languages to the HSC/VCE level. All languages are regarded of equal value, since the Board of Studies en-sures equal standards and assessment procedures for all languages. Consequently the study of Slovenian as one of HSC/VCE subjects is of great advantage to a student of Slovenian descent, who is familiar with the language. Bonus points are allotted for lan-guage study, which raise the chances for entry into a preferred course or preferred univer-sity. In acquisition of places at tertiary level or vocational training, the HSC/VCE certificate is regarded as a considerable advantage, particularly in Humanities, Business courses, paramedical, tourism and hospitality courses.

Since accreditation of Slovenian as an HSC/VCE subject about 226 students have selected Slovenian in preference to another language or other subject, 144 in New South Wales, 82 in Victoria.


Slovenian language was introduced by Aleksandra Čeferin (M.A.,B.A., Dip.Ed), into the Victorian state school system in 1977. It was the first time that Slovenian language was an accredited school subject anywhere in the world beyond the immediate borders of Slovenia. Mrs. Ceferin also established Slovenian Teachers Association of Victoria (1976). The mission of STAV was to teach and support the teaching of Slovenian language; to integrate Slovenian into the standards and methodology of the Victorian school system; to prepare syllabi, teaching materials and examination papers; to undertake professional development, participate in school reforms. From 1977 to 2005, 498 secondary school students have attended Slovenian classes in the Victorian School of Languages in the state of Victoria. Number for the students in New South Wales are not available.

The immediate task for Aleksandra Čeferin was to prepare the documentation and the necessary requirements for the Board of Studies in Victoria and New South Wales for accreditation of Slovenian as an HSC/VCE subject. By 1979 Slovenian was accredited by the Boards of Studies in both states. Scores received for Slovenian “matura” could be now used to add to the best five subjects scores. Slovenian was now established as a subject of free choice within the school system and has been offered continuously since then.

Slovenian classes in Victorian School of Languages are provided with extensive resources. They have been partly funded by the school, partly by the Slovenian government, in particular the cultural institute for Slovenes around the world – Slovenska izseljenska matica.

At pre-primary and primary level Slovenian is taught on Sundays in the Slovenian Religious and Cultural Centre in Melbourne, and depending on demand, in Slovenian clubs. They cater mainly for the younger children and are well supplied with cultural material from Slovenia and with textbooks for pre-primary and primary school children published in Australia.


In 1998 STAV was reformed into the Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria (ISSV). This occurred as the result of new challenges and new role of the association, the intro-duction of the computers and the Information Technology into the school curriculum open-ing new possibilities and opportunities for learning Slovenian language and culture. is the first project of the reformed ISSV. It was published on the Internet in the beginning of 1999. The web site has been conceived as the web node or enry point for conceptually selected and organized sources, links and contents for the requirements of study and broadened presentation of Slovenia, its culture, language and people. Thezaurus contains selected Slovenian and worldwide links, webzine Sloveniana, linguistic resources and discussion forums. It also foreshadows development and inclusion of further projects, such as on-line course of Slovenian language, archives of Slovenian art and translations of Slovenian literature.

Webzine Sloveniana represents the content-based contribution to Slovenian cultural re-sources, with the evolving ethnographica/cultural archive of features unique and character-istic of Slovenia – customs, historical and natural landmarks, arts and crafts, and more.

    For information contact:
    Thezaurus - Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria Inc.
    Telephone: 03 9544 0595
    Fax:  03 9544 4729
Internet: and
Beside language and cultural archives the site offers direct access to Slovenia and Slovenes around the world through selected links.


The V.S.L. is a Victorian Government School with a proud record in teaching Languages Other Than English since 1935. Currently the V.S.L. offers 40 languages in 32 locations throughout Victoria, catering for the needs of more than 13 000 students. Slovenian was introduced in 1977, and has been offered continuously since then.

In Victoria students receive a systematic grounding in Slovenian language with the aim of achieving the Victorian school Certificate standard, and to stimulate interest in Slovenian language and culture. The courses are characterized and enriched by a strong cultural content, which covers unique features of Slovenian culture, interesting places and land-marks, major historical events, literary and other culturally significant texts.
Primary and secondary school students and VCE candidates from Government and non-Government schools as well as adults may enrol. Enrolment takes place in the first Saturday in February at the beginning of the school year.

Students attend classes every Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:20 pm during school terms at the V.S.L. Centre at Princes Hill Secondary College, North Carlton, 3054, Melbourne.

For information contact Tel: 03 9414 0641


Saturday School of Community Languages, NSW
For information contact Tel: 02 9644 5638

Slovenian Religious and Cultural Centres in Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney and Slovenian clubs across Australia offer classes for primary age children, whenever there are enough children and depend-ing on the availability of teachers. In all the centres there are annual celebrations and fes-tivities. An important feature are children's performances with songs, plays, recitations and dances.

Contact the Slovenian centre/club in your city or town for further information.


There are a number of courses available for study of Slovenian, the majority in Ljubljana. There is also an attractive summer course in Koper.
The Centre for Slovenian as a Second/Foreign Language at the Faculty of Arts at Ljubljana University offers one year Slovenian language course - Celotno šolo slovenskega jezika, which begins in October. Applicants also have a choice of shorter courses, a half-year course, short winter and summer school, afternoon courses and personal tuition.


7th Summer Courses of Slovene Language on the Slovene Coast Portorož, 31st July – 13th August at  Znanstveno in raziskovalno središče republike Slovenije, Koper offers summer courses in Portorož, on the Slovenian coast. They are two-week courses of 40 lessons. Participants can also select from a number of themes: history, folk-lore, folk music, literature, theatre and film.

RS KOPER - POLETNI TEČAJI prof. Vesna Gomezel Mikolič, Garibaldijeva 18, 6000 Koper, Slovenija tel/fax 386 66 272 317 or 271-702; e-mail:
Ministry for Education and Sport offers a number of scholarships for participation in these courses. Applications with a short biography, if possible, with a recommendation by a Slovenian association.


There are a number of university courses and programs in USA and in Europe outside Slovenia, focusing on linguistic and literature studies and commonly offered as a study option.


Aleksandra Ceferin, (2003), Slovenian Language in Australia. 25 years of Slovenian language in Victorian Schools. Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria 1977 - 2002, ISSV Inc, Melbourne

Updated: 10 March 2008


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