The shrill tones of “KONNICHI WA” and “SAYOUNARA” filling the Prep – Year 3 area over the last few weeks has been music to the ears of the Languages Faculty, feeling very proud and privileged to have the opportunity to introduce the JAPANESE language to our early year levels for the first time. Nowadays, a traditionally robed teacher singing songs, dancing and playing games all in Japanese, is a common sight down this end of the school.
Japanese has been taught in Australia for over 100 years, influencing many areas of contemporary Australian society, including the arts, design, technology, fashion, popular culture and cuisine. Both Australia and Japan have been close economic partners for over 50 years, with an ongoing exchange in the areas of education, trade, tourism and diplomacy. Our sister-school relationship with Honjo Higashi, amongst other curriculum connections such as art, design and literature, provides opportunity for College students to interact and engage in cultural experience with Japan.
Foundation to Year 2 Japanese focuses on student’s intermediate world. At this stage in a child’s development, they are typically focusing on how to socialise with new people, share with others and participate in structured routine and activities at school. To meet this stage in their development, Prep classes have been concentrating on greetings, how to introduce oneself and numbers. Year 1 classes have been focusing on greetings, taking care to identify key cultural elements, and identifying family members. Year 2 classes have been enjoying listening to Japanese folktales and making origami storybook characters. Year 3 Japanese sees students’ awareness of their social world and memberships to various groups, including that of the Japanese class, heighten. Year 3 students have been exploring greetings, as well as the geography of Japan. All foundation classes have had the opportunity to celebrate seasonal Japanese festivals such as Setsubun, the bean throwing festival, and Hinamatsuri, the dolls’ festival.
We continually encourage parents to get involved in their child’s learning and to share the wonderful experience of learning a second language, such as Japanese, with your child. We look forward to constructive feedback on the programme, as we trial out our first year with our amazingly talented Prep – Year 3s.