At Glass House Mountains State School the study of a language is a core element of a holistic education and is an important part of the Australian Curriculum. Japanese is the core language at Glass House Mountains and is taught in Years 5 and 6. Lessons are for one hour each week.
The study of the Japanese language enables students to develop a number of essential communication skills, as well as important complex reasoning and problem solving processes. Learners use Japanese with peers and the teacher for a widening range of purposes: asking and responding to questions, exchanging information, expressing ideas and feelings, performing, responding to learning experiences, and interacting with Japanese language resources.
Another important aspect of their learning is gaining an appreciation for their own language and culture, in addition to understanding and valuing other cultures through the study of language. The intention is to equip students with a lifelong skill set in order to enable mastery of one or many languages.
The students are taught how to greet the Sensei (teacher) at the beginning and end of every lesson. Calling the roll is taken in Japanese and students are encouraged to 'leave their English words at the door' and utilise the Japanese language inside the classroom.
Instructions are given and responded to in Japanese and asking for a drink or to go to the toilet is also asked in Japanese. Immersion of the Japanese language is optimal and this is what the Sensei targets in every Japanese learning experience.
Assessment in Japanese is divided into four macro-skills being aural, oral, reading and writing - with each of these skills given equal importance in the curriculum. In Years 5 and 6, the study of Japanese provides an accessible introduction to and grounding in the fundamental skills of language acquisition, which prepares our students well for high school. Students learn how to read and write the Japanese writing systems which includes hiragana, kanji and katakana.
The use of ICT in Japanese is utilised often and the Computer Lab is accessed for enquiry units, research and playing educational language games like Kahoot. Enjoyment of the Japanese culture is best taught through fun action songs, Japanese fan dancing, Japanese cooking activities, origami and kirigami crafts and play experiences of Japanese folktales.
Participation in local co-curricular activities such as the Sunshine Coast Japanese Speaking competition and various language contests is actively encouraged. Students also participate in the Sunshine Coast Japanese Festival's drawing competition.