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.
All students study both French and Japanese for two semesters each.
Students choose to study either French or Japanese for the entire year.
This is fulfilling the current mandatory 100 hour requirement for the award of the NSW School Certificate.
Years 9 to 10
Students can elect to continue their study of either French or Japanese for these two years
Years 11 to 12
Students may choose to continue their study of French or Japanese (continuers-2 units) or they may elect to commence the study of another language (beginners-2 units). Continuers students may elect to study either French or Japanese extension (1 unit) for the higher school certificate.
Why study a language for the higher school certificate?
- Gain bonus points for university
- Obtain a language related role for graduates (PDF 42KB)
What do we do outside regular lessons?
Excursions or incursions for both French and Japanese to enrich students' language learning experiences.
Such events include preparing and eating French and Japanese food, going to restaurants, performances, movies, exhibitions, games and language centres.
A recent new languages event in which the whole school became involved was the one week long language perfect world championships where 80,000 students from 1000 schools in 12 countries participated. Students could choose to learn any language and could switch between the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Maori, Russian, Samoan, Spanish and Tongan.
Girraween students netted 62 gold medals for their enthusiastic involvement resulting in Girraween High School achieving second place worldwide.
What do we do outside of class in the real world?
Girraween has a sister school in Hisai in Japan. This official arrangement has been in place since 1994. Each year up to nine Japanese students from Hisai High School come to Girraween with their teacher for two weeks in March. The Japanese are hosted by Girraween families who involve them in their daily life. Girraween High organises for them to attend classes with their host student, participate in special English classes and arranges outings of cultural interest.
In return, Hisai High School hosts up to 9 Girraween students for two weeks in the September and October vacation. In Japan our students are hosted, attend regular classes, participate in special lessons and go on outings.
Both schools agree that this exchange program has been very successful, both on a personal and cultural level for both countries.