RATIONALE Learning a language involves developing communication skills, which allows interaction with other people and cultures. It extends, diversifies and enriches the learner’s way of thinking and requires intellectual discipline and regular study habits. The benefits of learning a second language include:
Expanding the individuals’ capacity to communicate with others.
Strengthening learners’ knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of language and the communication process.
Building understanding and respect for difference and diversity, which ultimately develops a sense of global citizenship
Developing understanding of how culture shapes and extends learners’ understanding of themselves, their own heritage, values, beliefs, culture and identity
Strengthening intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities and developing positive character traits such as persistence, patience and determination.
Contributing to the strengthening of the community’s social, economic and international development capabilities
Learning a second language enriches the educational, intellectual, personal, social and cultural development of students and has the potential to improve the quality of their participation in a rapidly changing world.
AIMS Through the language program, students acquire communication skills in Japanese. The Languages curriculum aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that students: •communicate in the language they are learning •understand the relationship between language, culture and learning •develop intercultural capabilities •understand themselves as communicators.
STRUCTURE At Mortlake P12 College, all students from Prep to Year 10 study Japanese. In the early years, students develop basic skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing however the focus of the program at this level is on enjoying and fostering an interest in Japanese language. To this end, students are exposed to songs, games and physical activities to foster language development.
In the upper primary levels, these skills are further develop and refined with a strong emphasis on developing communication skills and in particular, oral communication. Students participate in activities that develop understanding about the role of language and culture in communication. In addition, students in upper primary years also use ICT and interactive activities to both learn and demonstrate their language skills.
From Years 8 to 10, students elect to study two units of Japanese as part of the vertical curriculum. At this advanced level, students have the opportunity to develop skills in all areas, including reading and writing in character. The breadth and depth of study is increased and again, ICT supports the Japanese program in both content delivery and practical application for language use.