Languages offered in the Senior School include Chinese, Japanese, French and German. Through the development of their language skills and deep cultural understanding, students are empowered to communicate in new ways

Languages in Years 7 to 9

Upon commencing Year 7, students must choose one of four languages - Chinese, French, German or Japanese - to study until the end of Year 8. Students can then elect a language to study in Year 9 if they wish to continue language studies. Language studies in Year 9 is not compulsory.

Students will engage in communicative, authentic and meaningful use of the target language.

As language and culture are strongly linked, students will learn about and gain an appreciation of other cultures, and views of the world. Comparisons will also be made to the student’s own culture. Music, role plays, poetry and film are often used as ways to learn the language in class. 

Classes will also use technology to bring them in contact with up-to-date language and cultural issues.  Out-of-class linguistic and cultural activities are also organised, including immersion activities. 

To assist students to communicate effectively in the target language, classes will often focus on discrete vocabulary and grammatical points, including verb conjugations. 

By the end of this course, students should have the foundations, and the confidence, to engage in further study in the target language.

Tests will be conducted each term to assess students’ skills and knowledge in terms of: 

  • Comprehending and analysing texts in the language studied 
  • Creating texts in the language studied (in spoken and written form)
  • Exchanging information and ideas in the language (i.e. verbally conversing in the language).
Chinese (Years 10 to 12)

Year 10 
The aim of the Year 10 Chinese course is to enhance students’ capacity to communicate effectively with others. To increase their fluency and accuracy, students need to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the linguistic features of Chinese; and become familiar with grammatical structures by studying various linguistic functions used in a variety of contexts. Social-cultural awareness is also an important aspect of language learning.

The China tour is one of the main activities of Year 10, therefore, more tour-related topics are covered in the course. Class activities are based on realistic situations and explore a wide range of topics, from everyday situations to social issues with the four macro skills implemented. Apart from gaining fluent oral communication skills, as Chinese is a character-based language, students are encouraged to recognise and reproduce Chinese characters. Homework will be set to monitor students’ progress. 

Themes and topics studied in Year 10 Chinese include my world, my community, travel in China, and shopping. 

Students are encouraged to participate in Chinese-related activities, such as the China tour, Immersion Day or hosting exchange students.

Years 11 and 12
The aim of the Senior Chinese course is to enhance students' capacity to communicate effectively with others. To increase their fluency and accuracy in using Chinese, students have the opportunity to use Chinese for communicative purposes and are also introduced to relevant grammatical structures.

Class activities are based on realistic situations and explore a wide range of topics, from everyday situations to social issues. Apart from gaining fluent oral communication skills, students are encouraged to recognise and reproduce Chinese characters.

Over the course of Years 11 and 12, students of Chinese will study four units:

  • Unit 1: My World. Family / Carers and friends, lifestyle and leisure and education
  • Unit 2: Exploring our world.  Travel, technology and media, the contribution of Chinese culture to the world.
  • Unit 3: Our society. Roles and relationships, socialising ad connecting with my peers, groups in society.
  • Unit 4: My future. Finishing secondary school, plans and reflections, responsibilities and moving on.

Students are encouraged to participate in Chinese-related activities such as the China tour and hosting exchange students.

Subject recommendation: It would be important to have attained at least a C standard in Year 10 Chinese. Students who are proficient background speakers should see the Head of Languages to discuss options prior to submitting subject preferences.

French (Years 10 to 12)

Year 10
The Year 10 French course aims to broaden students’ knowledge of the language in the four macro skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. There will be the chance to study topics in depth, to learn more about the cultural richness and diversity of France and French-speaking countries, and to enjoy the satisfaction of making greater progress in the language.

While the emphasis of the Year 10 course is upon encouraging fluent oral communication, a solid grammatical base is also established, providing a firm foundation for Years 11 and 12. In fact, most of the important tenses are covered in Year 10.

Years 11 and 12 
The aim of the Senior French course is for students increasingly to gain the skills and knowledge to use French in a wide range of contexts.

Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on communication and there is a focus on grammatical structures that are relevant to communication. A number of resources are used to enhance the course, such as music and film.

Over the course of Years 11 and 12, students of French will study four units:

  • Unit 1: My world. Family / carers and friends, lifestyle and leisure, and education.
  • Unit 2: Exploring our world. Travel, technology and media, the contribution of French culture to the world.
  • Unit 3: Our society. Roles and relationships, socialising and connecting with my peers, group in society.
  • Unit 4: My future. Finishing secondary school, plans and reflections, responsibilities and moving on.

Subject recommendation: It would be important to have attained at least a high C standard of Achievement in Year 10 French. However, it is vital to discuss this with your Year 10 French teacher if unsure. Students who are proficient background speakers should see the Head of Languages to discuss options prior to submitting subject preferences.

German (Years 10 to 12)

Year 10
Language learning is a cumulative process and, as such, is not complete at the end of Year 9 or Year 10. By the end of Year 9, students have acquired some knowledge and skills in the basic requirements of German grammar. They have covered topics which allow them to introduce and talk about themselves in some detail. They can describe their friends and families and talk about their lives, their hobbies, what they like to eat, where they live, fashions and school. In Year 10, this focus on topics of teenage interest continues with greater time allocation, to allow for deeper consolidation to enable students to become more comfortable with, and confident in, using the language. By the end of Year 10, students will have had the opportunity to gain sufficient working knowledge of German to converse on everyday topics, and should have developed the confidence to use what they have learned in German-speaking areas of the world.

Themes and topics studied in Year 10 German include literature and environmental issues.

Years 11 and 12
By the conclusion of Year 10, students of German should have mastered enough of the language to be able to cope in a wide range of situations - living with a German family, talking with friends, asking directions, eating out and going shopping. Students should also be able to read with comprehension and enjoyment texts such as new articles and simpler literary works.

Over the course of Years 11 and 12, students of German will study four units:

  • Unit 1: My World. Family / carers and friends, lifestyle and leisure, and education.
  • Unit 2: Exploring our world. Travel, technology and media, the contribution of German culture to the world.
  • Unit 3: Our society. Roles and relationships, socialising and connecting with my peers, groups in society.
  • Unit 4: My future. Finishing secondary school, plans and reflections, responsibilities and moving on. 

Subject recommendation: It would be important to have attained at least a high C standard of Achievement in Year 10 German. However, it is vital to discuss this with your Year 10 German teacher if unsure. Students who are proficient background speakers should see the Head of Languages to discuss options prior to submitting subject preferences.

Japanese (Years 10 to 12)

Year 10
The aim of the Year 10 Japanese course is to enhance students' capacity to communicate effectively with others. To increase their fluency and accuracy, students need to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of the linguistic features of Japanese and become familiar with grammatical structures. Social-cultural awareness is also an important aspect of language learning.

Class activities are based on realistic situations and explore a wide range of topics, from everyday situations to social issues. Apart from gaining fluent oral communication skills, students are encouraged to recognise and reproduce Japanese characters. Homework will be set to monitor students' progress.

Themes and topics studied in Year 10 Japanese include directions, going on exchange in Japan and media.

Years 11 and 12
Senior Japanese is an extension of the students’ receptive skills and further development of fluency and correctness in both oral and written expression. To achieve competence in the areas of reading and writing, students are exposed to a greater number of Chinese characters (kanji). Students will be introduced to a number of new kanji to be learnt for reproduction and recognition. 

Over the course of Years 11 and 12, students of Japanese will study four units:

  • Unit 1: My world. Family / carers and friends, lifestyle and leisure, and education.
  • Unit 2: Exploring our world. Travel, technology and media, the contribution of French culture to the world.
  • Unit 3: Our society. Roles and relationships, socialising and connecting with my peers, group in society.
  • Unit 4: My future. Finishing secondary school, plans and reflections, responsibilities and moving on.

By the end of Year 12, students will have acquired knowledge of over 200 kanji. These kanji will give students a good working knowledge of kanji that appear in everyday life situations (eg. road signs, houses, maps, shops). Furthermore, students will gain a greater understanding of Japanese thought, customs and way of life through materials of cultural significance and by learning the language in `realistic’ settings and situations.

Subject recommendation: It would be important to have attained at least a high C standard of achievement in Year 10 Japanese. However, it is vital to discuss this with your Year 10 Japanese teacher if unsure. Students who are proficient background speakers should see the Head of Languages to discuss options prior to submitting subject preferences.