News from Languages

A Typical Day in a Languages Classroom

Using the Archinese software students who study Years 7 and 8 Chinese are developing the correct stroke order of characters.

If your daughter is in Year 7 studying Japanese she is learning to speak using the action method. The process of visualising a concept, and the association between word and gesture assist them to understand new sentence structures and vocabulary. This is one example of the range of practices to enhance student engagement and the acquisition of characters.Using the Archinese software students who study Years 7 and 8 Chinese are developing the correct stroke order of characters. This week they are learning the character 喜欢 (to like) when talking about their hobbies. Remembering every element of this complex character is a particular challenge for the girls.

VCE students of Chinese are preparing for their oral exam with our language assistant Mingming Gao. In these sessions the emphasis is on students learning to apply the language structures and vocabulary learned in class. Building confidence to use language orally is a week by week task which will culminate in the final examination.

Students studying French in Years 7, 8 and 9 are all currently preparing to represent St Catherine’s in the Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition. All students have chosen a poem and their challenge is not only to memorise it, but also to recite it with correct French pronunciation. Mobile phones are proving an effective tool to enable students to repeat and master specific sounds and individual words.

Being online after dinner may not be a bad thing if your daughter is practising vocabulary on Language Perfect. We have introduced this program in all three languages this year with a set  of learning goals. Students can personalise their learning according to their areas of need. Even Year 12 students are responding to the repetition and competition intrinsic to online games. The possibilities for extension are vast as the site offers practice exams, reading texts and even a voice recording function.

The Year 12 French students are building their capacity to write an original response to a given prompt. They are building this skill through the lense of humanitarian action. Using the work of organisations such as Médecins sans Frontières and Restos du Cœur students imagine themselves as workers bringing support to those in need in Francophone countries.

Students of Japanese in Year 8 are using their spoken language to order food in a restaurant. This topic develops their knowledge of culturally appropriate gestures and the Japanese diet, while they use the language in authentic real life settings.

Year 10 students of French are writing an imaginative piece about a recent holiday. Using the T.E.E.L. framework (topic, elaboration, example, link), they are learning to correctly structure their ideas and build the depth of language by incorporating multiple linguistic concepts.

Students studying Chinese Second Language Advanced in Year 11 are exploring the topic Future Plans. They are building their skills by listening to a range of texts, such as interviews, conversations and monologues. The particular skill they are practising this week is the capacity to respond in full sentences in the second language.

Ms Anna Pianezze,

Head of Languages

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