Many students at Nossal already speak one or more Languages other than English at home, or study a language outside school. We appreciate and celebrate our students’ amazing linguistic skills.
There are many advantages of learning a second (or third, or fourth) language, including:
- Gaining an insight into other cultures;
- Learning more about yourself and your own culture;
- Improving your understanding of English and its role in the global community ;
- Increasing your brain’s ‘plasticity’ and improving your problem-solving and communication skills;
- Keeping your brain healthy and strong (bilingualism has even been linked to delayed onset of dementia!);
- Giving you the chance to travel, live and work overseas;
- Meeting new people and making new friends;
- Expanding and enhancing your study and career prospects.
Even for students who speak multiple languages outside school, there are benefits in learning a foreign language in a formal academic setting. Japanese and French at Nossal are taught in a structured, rigorous way. Language study includes both communicative, task-based learning but also formal grammar study, which is particularly beneficial for the development of students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
The study of a Language other than English is also encouraged by the Government, through incentives at the VCE level.
There is a new tagged Certificate of Education at Year 12, the Victorian Baccalaureate. It is awarded to high-achieving students, based on their ATAR, who study a range of subjects, including at least one language other than English.
Languages are compulsory at Year 9 at Nossal, and optional but strongly encouraged in Year 10. Both French and Japanese can be continued through to Year 12 regardless of whether a student begins as a Beginner or Intermediate student at Nossal.
Students who choose to study Japanese in Year 9 study at either an Intermediate or Beginner level depending on their previous studies.
Students study a range of topics, including an exploration of Japanese culture, and learn the Japanese writing systems. Students develop a variety of communication skills through active participation in the classroom, through in-school visits and outside school excursions and activities using and experiencing Japanese.
Year 10 students continue to develop their communication skills in Japanese and participate in activities that aim to strengthen their understanding and ability to communicate in, and explore, both the language and culture of Japan.
As part of their learning and assessment, our students have the opportunity to practise general conversation with not only the Japanese speaking staff at Nossal, but with the Assistant Japanese Language Teacher and an experienced VCE oral assessor. Students participate in a wide range of language and cultural based activities.
Classes also operate at VCE level following the VCAA curriculum prescribed in the VCE Japanese as a Second Language Study Design, where a more intensive study of the Japanese language is offered, using prescribed themes and topics. There are three themes:
- The Individual;
- The Japanese-speaking communities; and
- The Changing world.
VCE Japanese introduces even more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary and focuses on real-life topics and issues such as the changing world of work; the environment; issues in Japanese society and youth culture.
The four key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking are assessed, and end-of-semester oral and written exams prepare students for their final VCE 3 and 4 exams.
The Year 9 French course concentrates on personal-world topics related to students’ lives such as self, family, daily activities, hobbies and shopping.
There are two streams: Intermediate (for students who have completed Year 7 and 8 French, or equivalent) and Beginners (for students who have no, or minimal, previous experience with French).
Year 10 French consolidates and expands on the skills covered in Year 9 and introduces more complex vocabulary, grammar, text types and topics in preparation for VCE. Units include health, holidays and travel, and media and communications.
Classes also operate at VCE level following the VCAA curriculum prescribed in the VCE French as a Second Language Study Design, where a more intensive study of the Japanese language is offered, using prescribed themes and topics. There are three themes:
- The Individual;
- The Japanese-speaking communities; and
- The Changing world.
VCE French introduces even more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary and focuses on real-life topics and issues such as the world of work; the environment; migration; and science and technology. The four key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking are assessed, and end-of-semester oral and written exams prepare students for their final Year VCE 3 and 4 exams.
VICTORIAN SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES
Students may be able to undertake correspondence language studies in other languages through the VSL (Victorian School of Languages) at Nossal. Nossal provides a dedicated staff member to assist in the facilitation of the VSL programs.
The Year 9 policy for study of a language other than French or Japanese is as follows:
In Year 9, students have an active choice of studying either Japanese or French as part of their academic studies. Yet, if a Year 9 student has enrolled externally of Nossal, and is attending a VSL or Community Saturday/Sunday school, then they are still required to attend either their normal Nossal Japanese or French language classes. The only exception to this is rule is when a Year 9 student does not have any face-to-face teaching time on either Saturday or Sundays (due to distance), and therefore physically needs study periods to complete their work at Nossal.
At Nossal, we recognize the value and cognitive benefits of acquiring languages, and encourage students to continue the study of languages through Years 10, 11 and 12.
The contact person for study of a language other than French or Japanese at the Victorian School of Languages or through distance education, is Mr. Rohan Bramley.
INTERNATIONAL STUDY TOURS, HOSTING and EXCHANGE
Nossal international study tours meet the Australian Curriculum guidelines for both Languages and the cross-curriculum priorities, including “Sustainability” and “Engagement with Asia”. Please see the section on Camps and Tours for more information about these. A study tour for Japanese runs biannually every even year for students studying year 10, 11 or 12. Similarly, for French biannually in odd years.
LANGUAGES ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES
Both languages, together and separately, offer a range of activities and competitions to complement students’ regular, in-class language learning. A highlight of the year is Languages Diversity Day, where all Year 9 and all Year 10-12 students studying French or Japanese participate in a range of intensive linguistic and cultural activities across the course of a day. This year, 2016, the whole school will participate from lunchtime through to the end of the day, with added multicultural and multilinguistic activities and a food fair. The day will end with an assembly celebrating Languages Diversity at Nossal High School.
Other language enrichment activities are available throughout the year. Students should keep an eye on NEO for announcements of events or extension programs as they come up.
There are a number of student-run clubs related to the Languages including the French conversation club and the Japanese youth culture and anime club. Students of VSL have the opportunity to create study groups and club activities related to their study.
Nossal language students can participate in a range of local, state, national and international language competitions, both to gain perspective on their progress and also to build their skills in a range of exam-style situations.
Students of VSL, Japanese and French can participate in the Language Perfect World Championships. All students are subscribed to the popular vocabulary and grammar learning site, and the World Championships – as well as other competitions through Language Perfect – pit students against students around the world. The competition rewards the consolidated learning of new vocabulary, expressions and structures, encouraging students to extend their vocabulary and grammar, and challenge each other to learn more and at a faster rate.
Intermediate students at Year 9 and year 10 through 12 students also participate in the ACER Australian Language Certificates, which test students listening and reading comprehension skills against students throughout Australia and Asia.
Students in Japanese have the option to participate in a number of competitions throughout the year. These are advertised on NEO and will assist students to develop a range of linguistic and creative communicative skills. These competitions include, among many others, the Japanese speech, calligraphy, and video competitions.
Students in Years 11 and 12 participate in the Alliance Francaise Berthe Mouchette competition, completing a written test and taking part in an oral interview, which are excellent preparation for the final Year 12 exams.
EXCURSIONS AND INCURSIONS
Each year students of Japanese participate in at least one external activity involving the study of Japanese language and culture. Some activities include:
A guided through a tour around Melbourne’s Japanese Food outlets; A visit to the Consulate participating in a one hour talk on Life in Modern Japan and using Japanese language as a Global citizen; A Japanese lunch at a Japanese restaurant; A Tour of the Japanese art and artefacts at the National Gallery of Victoria; The Japanese VCE morning and the Year 10 Why Study a LOTE morning.
Students may also have the opportunity to see a new release Japanese film at the ACMI at Federation Square during the Japanese Film Festival. Most films offered deal with youth and issues of growing up in Japan. Both in terms of the lifestyle and culture of students their age and of a critical time in Japanese history, these films will engage and entertain students in a culturally and linguistically relevant way.
Year 12 students attend the Year 12 morning in preparation for the final examination.
Year 9 and 10 students have opportunities to go on a ‘film and food’ excursion. Exploring the French culture and food of Melbourne
VCE students also have an excursion to the Alliance Française in St Kilda where they enjoy a French breakfast or lunch, and take part in an intensive workshop focusing on a theme such as Identity, Immigration, the French Revolution and so on.
VCE students can also attend the Year 12 French morning, run by the Association of French Teachers of Victoria, to complete practice exam questions, see a mock oral and get tips from a range of experienced French examiners.
Nossal Language staff strongly encourage the participation of Language Assistants within our classrooms. This may be in the form of a formal, funded Language Assistant, or volunteers.
If you are a Japanese, French or other language speaker and are interested in working with our students in any capacity, please contact reception and ask to speak to the Languages Domain leader (for French and Japanese) or the VSL Coordinator (for any other language) – we would love to hear from you!