Learning Areas > Languages
Leader of Learning - Languages: Ms Ellen Moffatt
P: +61 3 9816 1545 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Learning Area
Studies in Languages offer personal reward and enrichment and promote the development of memory and neuroplasticity. In the increasingly global community in which we live, citizens with a sound knowledge of other Languages and cultures are better able to participate and contribute in life. For these reasons, the study of a Language is a significant part of a student's academic experience and forms an important compulsory part of the Middle School curriculum at Carey.
The Language offering at Carey allows students to choose from some of the major Asian and European Languages, thereby giving them the opportunity to pursue their particular interests and linguistic strengths.
With an emphasis on the five Language skills — reading, listening, speaking, viewing and writing — students are challenged in ways that enhance their receptive and productive communicative abilities. They learn to appreciate other cultures and in turn extend and challenge their appreciation of their own Language and culture.
The Digital Device Program provides many opportunities for teaching and learning Languages at Carey. Students use a range of websites to engage with authentic materials and have access to several Language learning sites that deepen their grasp of their chosen Language.
As the study of Language is an integral part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and enjoys a prominent place in the VCE, it is important for Middle School students to begin developing solid Language skills to take them through to Senior School. An exciting range of study tours and exchanges are available to students studying languages at Year 9 and beyond.
Year 7 students must study one Language, either Chinese, French or Indonesian.
Chinese is the world's most common Language with more than one billion speakers spread across Asia. It is also one of the world's oldest Languages with a written history of more than 4000 years.
At Carey, we teach Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin). At beginners’ level much of the emphasis is on simple spoken Language for everyday use. Considerable time is also spent learning about China, its people, its places and its culture. We hope to foster an appreciation and understanding of an ancient culture so very different from our own.
At all levels, Chinese is taught using communicative methods, with an emphasis on the skills of speaking, understanding others and written communication. Students are given many opportunities to express themselves in Chinese. They are taught pinyin, a romanisation that helps them remember how to pronounce words. Characters are introduced gradually as the course progresses.
Study tours to China are available for students who continue to study this language at Years 10 and 11. Students visit Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. In Shanghai, students attend a high school classes and activities. The trip lasts for 2 weeks, running once every 2 years.
There are two pathways available for students taking up Chinese at Year 7.
- Chinese (Beginners) for those who have never previously studied the Language.
- Chinese (Continuation) for those who have had some exposure to the Language in primary school programs including the Carey Junior Schools.
- All students who can communicate fluently orally and in written Chinese are required to study Indonesian or French in Middle School. In Senior School they can pursue the study of Chinese in First Language classes or continue with their Middle School Language.
There is a single course for students in Years 8 and Year 9.
It is important that background information regarding students’ experience and proficiency in Chinese is provided during the subject selection process.
French is a valuable language to study for literary and cultural reasons, but more importantly 42 countries over five continents, and a large number of organisations and individuals use the Language or accord it some special status. French is also a member of an important family of Languages which includes Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, offering insights for the study of any of these.
In Middle School at Carey, we emphasise the practical and everyday aspects of French but do not neglect the cultural side. Thus the Language of cafés and restaurants or family life may be studied at the same time as learning a poem or reading about Quebec. Furthermore, we recognise that students study Language for different reasons and have a range of aptitudes and skills, so we try to cater for all their different needs. A Language study tour to France is offered every two years, numbers permitting, and students studying at Years 10 and 11 are eligible to participate. Students considering continuing their study of French through Senior School can look forward to this opportunity to build on the learning they have done in their middle years. Students should keep this in mind when making decisions about Language study at the end of Year 9.
The study of the Indonesian Language is very accessible for a wide range of learners as its structure has less grammatical focus. The study of Indonesian Language and culture is important for the economic and political future of Australia in the South East Asian region. The geographical proximity of Indonesia to Australia means there are growing opportunities for those with proficiency in Indonesian in the fields of government, trade, tourism, journalism, banking, the armed services and education. An understanding of Indonesian Language and culture is also important in the continued development of relations with our neighbour, whose rich traditions are very different from our own. The study of Indonesian also has a wider application in that it is closely related to Malay and could be understood in Malaysia and by Malay-speaking inhabitants of Singapore.
Through the learning of another Language, students are encouraged to broaden their horizons and understanding of other people and their cultures, and to learn to live together in multi-cultural Australia. A Language and culture study tour to Indonesia is offered to students in Years 9, 10 and 11 every two years. This provides an ideal opportunity to explore further the fascinating culture of one of Australia's close neighbours and experience firsthand, the cities, villages and jungles of this diverse land. There is also an exchange opportunity to an Indonesian school available to Year 9 students of Indonesian.