Dear OPPS Parents and Carers,
The Japanese Language program at OPPS is designed for students to learn Japanese by building their communication skills and expanding their intercultural awareness and understanding.
The aim is to engage students in various different methods throughout their learning of the language from Foundation to Grade 6. This includes; games, songs, videos, team building activities, puzzles and apps with a focus on the four essential skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Students are encouraged to build upon their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge throughout their 7 years of language learning. They continue to use the language in context, with relevant realia, and apply their understanding of the three different alphabets used; Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji.
The program is structured in a way that enables the language to be taught explicitly through the use of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria and assessed through Feedback and Reflection.
In the last couple of years しゅわ‘Shuwa’, also known as Japanese sign language, has been introduced as a measure to help improve students recollection of Japanese. As each class has only 1 hour a week for language learning, it can sometimes be a challenge for students to remember previously learned grammar and vocabulary between interactions. However, the kinaesthetic learning through ‘Shuwa’ has made the learning more memorable for students.
The Japanese Program is also celebrated through ‘Japanese Day’ a once a year event where students have access to various Japanese lunchtime games/activities, dress up in something related to Japan (which includes a fashion parade), sing Japanese songs, eat a sushi lunch and the opportunity to attend an incursion.
With the schools’ Student Empowerment Program, we also have allocated Japanese Captains. Students elected from the senior school organise and run activities to help maintain student engagement and enthusiasm in the Japanese Program throughout the year. In the past students have run sessions on Origami, Japanese food and ‘Shodō’ also known as Calligraphy.