In Japanese, students at OLHC have an opportunity to reflect, compare and contrast intercultural exchanges, and cultural and linguistic differences. Students reflect on and get to know their own and the Japanese culture to develop skills about how to work between, and across both. Our language program focuses on students’ language acquisition as mandated within the Victorian Curriculum, under the two strands ‘Communicating’ and ‘Understanding’. Language, culture and identity are closely interrelated and involved in the shaping and expression of each other. Cultural understanding is an important aspect of any language program. Students in grades Foundation to 3, have weekly Japanese lessons delivered via video lesson, tailored to their specific learning outcomes. Students in Grade 4 - 6, have weekly face to face lessons which include language, cultural and cooking experiences. Why learn a second language? Research shows that knowing one language helps learn another. For this reason, all students are entitled to learn another language in addition to English and their home language. Through learning a second or third language, students are able to gain insights about how languages function, compare systems of language and strengthen their understanding of literacy across languages.
QUOTE Sustained international research on second language acquisition, bilingualism and bilingual education demonstrates that learning a second language enhances and enriches children’s language experiences, and offers them unique insights and opportunities for the development of cognitive skills which are unavailable to the monolingual learner (Fernandez, 2008).