In NSW high schools, languages is a key learning area.
Language study allows students to develop communication skills, learn about languages as systems and explore the relationship between language and culture. Students engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of societies and reflect on their understanding of social interactions.
The study of a language is compulsory for 100 hours in one continuous school year from Year 7 to Year 10, but preferably in Years 7 or 8.
In Years 11 and 12, NSW schools offer a wide variety of languages, catering for beginning students to background speakers.
Languages involves the study of language and culture. The study of languages enables students to communicate with others, and to reflect on and understand the nature and role of language and culture in their own lives and the lives of others.
Learning languages provides the opportunity for students to engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of the world and its peoples. Students broaden their horizons in relation to personal, social, cultural and employment opportunities in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Proficiency in languages provides a national resource that serves communities within Australia and enables the nation to engage more effectively with the global community.
Contemporary research and practice have established a clear link between the learning of languages and improved literacy skills for both background speakers and second or additional language learners. Through the development of communicative skills in a language and understanding of how language works a s a system, students further develop literacy in English, through close attention to detail, accuracy logic and critical reasoning. Learning languages exercises students’ intellectual curiosity, increases metalinguistic awareness, strengthens intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities, and enhances creative and critical thinking.
Through learning languages, students develop an intercultural capability and an understanding of the role of language and culture in communication and become more accepting of diversity and difference. They develop understanding of global citizenship, and reflect on their own heritage, values, culture and identity.
Students at The Ponds High School learn Japanese. In Stage 4, students are introduced to Japanese and complete their compulsory 100 hours of language study. In the Stage 5 curriculum, Japanese is offered as an elective course. As The Ponds High School grows, we will offer Stage 6 Languages subjects to Year 11 and 12 students including courses such as Japanese Beginners, Japanese Continuers and Japanese Extension.