Face masks will be strongly encouraged but not mandated during assessments. Hand sanitiser, alcohol wipes and masks will be made available to students.
About 76,000 students are working to complete their HSC program this year, and languages are the first of 126 courses to be examined.
“Learning a second language is an invaluable experience and an important skill in a globalised world,” Mitchell said.
“In NSW, we are surrounded by rich and diverse languages –and the NSW curriculum provides students from all backgrounds the opportunity to engage with and value those cultures.”
He began studying Japanese in year 8 but was eager to learn more in year 11, so he took on French and Korean.
“The more languages I learn the more people I’m able to connect with,” he said. “I don’t know if I have a knack [for languages] but I definitely have a love for it and that’s able to push me along.”
Joseph wants to share his love of languages with other young people and plans to become a teacher when he finishes high school.
He said the key to success in languages was daily revision and practice, so they became ingrained in his mind.
“I’m really looking forward to [the oral exams] so much and don’t really feel stressed about them,” Joseph said. “I think it’s really important not to think about the exams as the end point of your language learning.
“It’s really just the practice stage where you can gauge your abilities … before you go out to practice with actual native speakers.”
With four languages already on his plate, Joseph still wants to learn more. Spanish and Chinese are next on his to-do list.
HSC written exams will start on October 12 and run until November 4.