Specialist Programs - Japanese
Beaumaris North Primary School provides a Language program for all children as outlined in the Discipline Based Learning Area of the Victorian Curriculum – Languages and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Language Scope and Sequence. The principal language offered at Beaumaris North Primary School is English and Japanese is provided as an additional language to:
- Further enrich personal development.
- Enable learners to engage with the world.
- Develop knowledge of the connections between language and culture and how culture is embedded throughout the communication system.
In PYP schools all students have the opportunity to learn an additional language. Every learner benefits from having access to different languages, and, through that access, to different cultures and perspectives. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and helps facilitate international-mindedness.
Learning a second language and culture gives children the opportunity to reflect on their own language and culture. Through comparison with their own language, children understand how language works, which they can apply to English. Children learn that there are many ways of viewing the world and they come to appreciate and respect a different culture. This is very important for children who are living in a multilingual and multicultural society like Australia.
Children have the opportunity to speak to Japanese students on skype where possible. This gives them an insight into schools in Japan today as well as the chance to practise their Japanese. Japanese interns contribute to the program by demonstrating a variety of cultural performances to our students such as traditional dancing, songs and games.
The Japanese program at BNPS has themes that are relevant and of interest to the children (e.g. classroom and family) and they are integrated with PYP transdisciplinary themes wherever possible. Throughout their time at Beaumaris North Primary School, students:
- Are exposed to Japanese pronunciation, intonation and body language of native speakers of Japanese.
- Learn to speak the language by mimicking, singing Japanese songs and playing language games.
- Are aware that Japanese has different scripts from English. They recognise individual Japanese characters, and reproduce their shapes in a variety of ways, for example, by moulding clay or tracing.
- Gain both traditional and modern images of Japanese people and places through video/DVDs, folk tales, and take part in activities related to Japanese festivals.
- Use the language in structured situations and activities related to their local environment: self, family, home, classroom and community.
- Begin to use sets of words and sentences that are encountered frequently in the classroom, and to insert words into simple sentences.
- Read short texts, talk about daily life and adapt language that they know to new contexts.
- Begin to collect information in Japanese (for example, from modified texts).
- Have the opportunity to exchange letters with Japanese primary school children.
- Interact with Japanese primary school children by exchanging cards, emails, skype, twitter, etc.
- Develop their language skills and understand Japanese culture through a variety of activities such as language games, origami, songs, cooking and Japanese video/DVD.
- Begin to understand and use Japanese within the world of their own experience and imagination, with some topics drawn from other domains, including exchanging simple personal information and opinions, and performing short skits in Japanese.
- Participate in a calligraphy contest.
- Participate in a Japanese incursion every two years.