Mazenod kookoo e yookoso - Saluti Dal Nostro Collegio
The study of a language other than English contributes to the overall education of students, most particularly in the area of communication, but also in the areas of cross-cultural understanding, cognitive development, literacy and general knowledge. It provides access to the culture of communities, which use the language and promotes understanding of different attitudes and values within the wider Australian community and beyond.
Students are also encouraged to participate in a number of competitions and other cultural activities. In Italian there is also an opportunity for students in years 9-12 to join with Avila College in several language workshops, which prove beneficial to both Colleges. In line with current teaching practice, emphasis is also placed on technology and computer assisted learning.
In Year 7 students are given the opportunity to study both Italian, Japanese and Mandarin for two terms each. This gives them an introduction to both languages and how they are taught at Mazenod and then enables them to make an informed choice in fourth term about which language they will continue to study.
Students cover basic introductions and greetings in both languages and learn to describe themselves and other people. They are briefly introduced to school in Italy and Japan and study a little bit about the geography of each country.
In order to avoid parents having to buy costly textbooks, which may later be unused depending on the choice of language, students are provided with the necessary handouts by the teachers.
Years 8 And 9
In Year 8 students spend three periods a week studying either Italian, Japanese and Mandarin. In Year 9 LOTE is an elective subject and students do four periods a week. The courses in these years are based around familiar themes. Teachers are conscious of developing all four macro skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking and use up-to-date communicative approaches in their classrooms. In order to develop authentic language, students are regularly encouraged to make up small dialogues and presentations. Teachers also use computer technology to assist learning. Students are learning how to search for relevant information on the Internet and how to improve their linguistic ability and their skills in word processing and power point presentations.
At this level students also have the opportunity to participate in various language competitions, including poetry and the Australian Language Levels Tests.
In Year 10 students can continue their study of Italian or Japanese as an elective for four periods a week. This is very much seen as a bridging year between the early years and the VCE. Students continue with a thematic approach, but there is also more emphasis devoted to the teaching of grammatical concepts to prepare students for their senior years. At this level students are normally able to participate in various cultural activities.
Years 11 And 12
Units 1 - 4 of Italian and Japanese are taught at Mazenod. In units 1 and 2 students need to complete a number of school based assessment tasks, which are set and assessed by their teachers. In units 3 and 4 students need to submit school assessed course work and also to sit an oral examination in October and a written examination in November as part of their external assessment.