LOTE (Languages other than English)
‘… achieving proficiency in other languages is one of the great learning experiences in the human condition … the compelling reasons for learning languages reside in the intellectual enrichment of the individual learner – a better understanding of the world, Australia’s place in it, and the many communities within Australia.’ (Australian Language and Literacy Council, 1996, Language Teachers: The Pivot of Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, p 3)
Randwick Girls High School currently offers Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish language courses. Contemporary research and practice have established a clear link between the learning of languages and improved literacy skills, as well as the fostering of intellectual development. The study of languages also encourages students to become more accepting of diversity, more respectful of others and more aware of their place in the international community. The LOTE faculty regularly organises international school trips to provide students with the opportunity to practise their language skills, as well as engaging directly with the culture of their chosen language. Some of the countries visited in past years include Japan, China, France and Greece. A trip to China is currently being organised for April 2019.
Course Description Stage 4 (Years 7 & 8):
The Mandatory Languages course consists of 100 hours’ study of a language typically in years 7 and 8. Randwick Girls High School currently offers Chinese, French, Japanese or Spanish. Students are introduced to the language through the four key skill areas: speaking, writing, listening and reading. Students are also introduced to the culture of the people who speak that language through a variety of engaging in-class activities and excursions.
Course Description Stage 5 (Years 9 & 10):
Languages may also be studied as an elective course in years 9 and 10. The acquisition of a language is a cumulative process. In the Elective Course, students develop greater breadth and depth of knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes to become more confident communicators in their chosen language. Students may be encouraged to progress beyond the essential syllabus content in order to broaden and deepen their knowledge, understanding and language skills and to extend their interest in the language. Cultural understanding is deepened through research projects and excursions.
Course Description Stage 6 (Years 11 & 12):
There are a variety of language courses available in years 11 and 12, depending upon the amount of previous study of the language.
Preliminary and HSC Continuers courses:
These follow on from the stage 5 Elective courses in each language and allow students the opportunity to develop their language skills to a highly sophisticated level.
Preliminary and HSC Beginners courses:
Students who have not studied a particular language in Stage 5, may take a Beginners course in that language in year 11. No prior knowledge of the language is required, however, as the students are more mature learners, they are able to progress rapidly with their language skills.
Extension Courses and Background Speakers courses:
Some languages offer a variety of courses for advanced students or students who speak the language as part of their background.
At Randwick Girls’ High School, Chinese courses are offered to students in Stage 4, 5 and 6. In Stage 4, a culture-oriented course is created for Year 7 students and a mandatory Chinese course which aims to increase students’ language academic skills and culture awareness is designed for the Year 8 cohorts. As electives in Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10), students can further extend their Chinese skills in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing by learning through authentic materials, such as Chinese online news, blogs, menus, textbooks, Chinese traditional games, festivals, cooking lessons and excursions.
In senior Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) students are offered all HSC Chinese courses including Chinese Beginners, Chinese Continuers, Chinese in Context, Chinese and Literature and Chinese Extension. In 2017, Eva Zhang came First in the State in the Chinese and Literature course. Congratulations to Eva and her teacher Mr Cheng. All Chinese students have opportunities to enhance their learning while experiencing food, music, cinema and cultural events. There is also an opportunity for all students at Randwick Girls High School to travel to China in 2019.
Studying French gives students access to one of the major languages in the world.
Studying French allows students a unique opportunity to improve their English literacy. French, English and other European languages share a common linguistic link with Latin. Also, French was the language of the medieval kings of England and their courts for almost 350 years. The study of French, therefore, enables students to greatly enrich their English vocabulary through exploring words with similar Latin stems and derivations, as well as the many words which entered the English language during the Middle Ages. As the acquisition of a second language also requires the clear and direct teaching of grammar, this provides a powerful combination for the improvement of English literacy.
Through the study of French, students will also experience and appreciate the richness and diversity of the art, cuisine, literature, film and music of French-speaking communities. In-class activities include cooking French food, watching French cinema, listening to contemporary and classic French songs, and exploring French art and architecture. Students in years 7 to 10 also complete research projects on different aspects of French culture.
Study of Japanese not only provides students with an entry point into the language, but gives students the opportunity to learn about the rich and diverse culture of traditional and modern Japan. From the seasonal changes of sakura to the street fashion of Shinjuku, students will become well versed across many aspects of the Japanese lifestyle. A range of levels are also offered to cater to students with varying levels of experience with the language.
All Japanese classes are differentiated to cater to the learning needs of the individual between stages 4-5. At stage 6 Japanese Beginners, Japanese Continuers and Japanese Extension is offered dependent on student prior knowledge and experience with the target language. Rigorous assessment is undertaken at the senior level to ensure candidates are enrolled in the appropriate course.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Spanish, English and other European languages share a common linguistic link with Latin.
Australia has strong connections through trade with Spanish-speaking nations, particularly those within the Asia-Pacific region. The Spanish language is widely spoken within the Australian community, giving students the opportunity to hear and use the language in real-life situations.
The Spanish Beginners Course provides students with language skills needed to function effectively in any of the Spanish-speaking communities around the world. It also enables them to experience and develop their understanding of the traditions and culture of these communities.
The study of Spanish provides students with opportunities for continued learning and for future employment and experience, both domestically and internationally, in areas such as public relations, commerce, hospitality, education, marketing, international relations, media and tourism.