Dear OPPS Parents and Carers,
As a new, but experienced teacher at OPPS, I am developing and implementing a Japanese program designed to the meet the needs of our students. Student feedback has been integral to the development of the program and several focuses have been identified. These include:
Research shows that a bilingual child:
For more research about the benefits of being bilingual can be found here:
Does learning another language improve English literacy skills?
Essentially, secondary school LOTE leaders and teachers want to be able to get straight into teaching the language skills on a higher level; and in order to do so effectively, they require the students to be ‘sold’ on the idea of LOTE already. They are dependent on primary school teachers and leaders of LOTE to have effectively established this within their cohort. They are faced with students coming from a range of different primary schools, where different LOTE have been taught; and hence, will be starting their LOTE from the beginning. They are reliant on students having experienced a positive and enriching time with the LOTE at their primary school, whichever language and culture it may have been. As a result, the key focus areas listed above have become my focus for a scope and sequence (program of skills and knowledge from Foundation to Year 6) for the LOTE program at OPPS. I have a strong background in designing, implementing and leading LOTE re-engagement programs at other schools, of which I am drawing from for this program…
I have been really enjoying getting to know the students at Oak Park, and have developed a good rapport with them over the course of the semester. They have provided me with some fantastic feedback for a student-led curriculum program. They are enjoying the ownership over topics explored in class and are discovering things about Japanese culture they are interested in learning. In class, I draw on my time living and working in Japan as a language and cultural studies teacher – sharing with my students all the fantastic elements of Japanese life, along with the importance for learning Asian languages in an Australian context.
Student and parent feedback for the new program has been overwhelmingly positive and there have been great achievements already in the listed key areas. Students will continue to improve their cultural awareness and understanding, whilst maintaining quality activity books, extending e-learning skills and learning language skills (both written, oral) via enrichment tasks - where the meaning and value of each task is made explicit, catering to different learning styles.
The inclusion of Japanese language skills is increasing throughout the year, as the students re-open themselves to the desire of learning Japanese. As mentioned, this will be attached to enrichment tasks and kept to an achievable and sustainable level; so that the students see the relevance of what they are learning, feel confident they can achieve set tasks at a comfortable pace, and have the best chance of developing a true interest in Japan, the Japanese culture and language.
Thank-you so much to all the parents and carers who have given me encouragement and acknowledged my hard work so far in re-establishing a desire for Japanese at Oak Park Primary School. I look forward to the remainder of the year and continuing to see the students’ joy in Japanese class. Much thanks and appreciation ありがとうございました (arigatou gozaimashita),
LOTE Japanese Program Co-ordinator