Languages give learners the world by opening their minds to other cultures and opening doors to new possibilities. Languages take learners on a journey that improves the way they communicate, interact with others and engage with learning – and with life at home and beyondLanguages – expanding your world, Department of Education & Early Childhood, Victoria 2013
In 2012 Mount Duneed Regional Primary School introduced Japanese to all students as our chosen language other than English. Languages prepare the children to be responsible and engaged members of our multicultural community, and to look outward as active and informed citizens of the world. Learning an Asian language provides the students with the opportunity to develop further understanding of the growing nature of Asia and its influence on the world. They need to become ‘Asia literate’, engaging and building strong relationships with Asian neighbours.
The Japanese curriculum is organised in thematic units intended for all students. Within each unit, extension activities for students who need additional challenges and modified activities for students who need support are thoroughly planned for. Each topic allows for cross-curricular links with other Discipline-based and Interdisciplinary domains, as well as the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand. Topics vary throughout the year including but definitely not limited to Greetings, Self-Introductions, The Writing System, Numbers, The Calendar, Colours, Animals, Family, Clothing, The Body, Sport and Weather.
The engaging program includes speaking, listening, reading and writing activities with the majority of each lesson involving oral and conversational tasks, games and singing. Activities cover both interrelated strands of Communicating and Understanding, ensuring students develop language and cultural understanding.
Each year we celebrate ‘Japan Day’ with a variety of exciting activities. During the day children engage in reading, writing, number, arts and craft, movement games and performance activities that centre on cultural traditions. Children are also encouraged to dress up on this day and we enjoy a particularly ‘special lunch’.
All students receive a report comment regarding participation in the LOTE program and will begin to receive an outcome in Grade 5 from 2017, this is to meet the DET guidelines for students being assessed using Pathway 1.