Why learn a language?
Most people in the world speak more than one language. Speaking another person’s language shows goodwill and flexibility, and will be more important in the future.
The importance of learning other languages is sometimes underestimated, especially for speakers of English.
Learning a second language has wide-ranging benefits, not just as a skill for future careers. It creates flexible thinkers, opens parts of the brain to language in general and provides opportunities to understand another culture in depth.
Like many things, language learning is best started young, while children have the ability to learn a language completely and easily.
Our Japanese Bilingual Education has been highly successful since it was established in 1997. Rather than just learning about the language in a passive way, children are actively encouraged to speak Japanese within their core subjects.
As a regular component of your child’s school day, learning Japanese by immersion is a natural and cumulative process.
Integrating Language into other Key Learning Areas
As part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increase the number of government schools in which teaching is conducted in a second language, funding was provided for the implementation of a partial immersion program. The program was introduced to Caulfield Primary School in 1997 and has grown to be an integral part of our school’s future.
In many schools, Languages are taught for one lesson per week. Most students are only able to achieve a basic knowledge of the language and culture by Year 6.
The program at CPS provides content-based teaching in both English and Japanese. Some subjects are taught in English and others in Japanese. The idea is to teach through language rather than teach about the language. In this way students learn in a supportive content-based environment.
This bilingual program is delivered by Japanese teachers and enables the students to have 12 hours a week of Japanese
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has implemented strict guidelines for reporting, independent external evaluation and testing procedures of bilingual education.
Dedicated and creative teams of teachers, who are fluent in the language and have strong educational backgrounds, deliver the Japanese program. Native speaker language assistants, volunteer assistants and Japanese parents also provide valuable support in the classroom. For parents wishing to keep up with their children, a Japanese class for adults is also offered.
This program operates under the guidelines set by the DET and follows the AusVELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards), the Victorian Government’s blueprint for learning. We are encouraged by DET feedback confirming that our program is an outstanding one with an excellent reputation.
At CPS, core subjects are taught in Japanese for at least 12 hours per week.
The 4 Core Subjects taught in Japanese are:
To promote the Japanese language and culture, extra activities are also integrated into the program throughout the year.
Extra Activities throughout the year include –
Japanese student visits from:
Japanese Cultural Events:
Japan has an impressive cultural heritage from samurai and sakura ( blossoming cherry trees) to sumo. It is also famous for high-tech innovation and its cultural exports in the form of games, anime, manga and karaoke.
Your child will enjoy learning about a culture that is so different from his or her own and with something to appeal to every learner. As well as having its own unique cultural heritage, Japan has been influenced by China and Korea and vice versa.
Learning about Japan will also introduce children to aspects of Chinese, Korean and other Asian cultures.
Japan is one of Australia’s main trading partners and many Japanese people come to Australia to do business, study or as tourists and learning Japanese could provide your child with a career avenue in many different fields.
Japanese is one of the four Asian languages targeted by the Federal Government for teaching in schools. The language is not as hard as it first looks. In many ways the grammar of the language is simpler than English. Spelling and pronunciation are also easier for children.
At CPS, we have a bi-annual exchange program where students may be able to visit Nakagawa Primary School, Ogaki, Gifu in Japan.
The visit provides additional opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture, taking part in Japanese school life and socializing with Japanese boys and girls of their age.
Students also become confident in integrating with international visitors through their understanding of appropriate behaviours and customs, as well as their ability to communicate in more than one language.
Every two years, every child participates in the whole school production. The entire production is performed in Japanese and in past years, the Caulfield Primary community has been entertained by classic stories such as Monkey, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan in word and song. The plays are performed to a packed audience at a local theatre. Parents are amazed to hear their young children expertly performing their lines in Japanese.
We regularly host visits from students of Nakagawa Primary School and the Japanese School of Melbourne, providing additional opportunities for students to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture. On Thursdays, students can order sushi for lunch and they can take part in activities such as drumming workshops, film festivals, Japanese poetry competitions, videoconferencing with Japan and other events throughout the year.
Grade 5 and 6 students are provided with the opportunity to join the biennial trip to Japan. During the 2013 Japan Trip, students visited many beautiful temples and castles, and met a Ninja at Toei Film Studio. They stayed with Japanese families while attending our sister school in Ogaki, experiencing the real life of a Japanese student. Students commented on the incredible generosity of their hosts and everyone had a terrific time.