Solway has Japanese classes once per week for every child, prep to year 6. Children learn based on a communicative model: practical language, taught in an authentic context, for the purpose of communicating. As wide a range of activities as possible are used to address Units of study to appeal to as wide a range of abilities and learning styles as possible.
Some activities include:
pair / group / team work
- peer tutoring
- craft work
- reading challenges
- question & answer
- folk stories
- excursion opportunities
- whole school festival days
- Japanese music and Art appreciation
- Japanese TV program clips
- reading for enjoyment (cartoons, newspapers, magazines)
While children eventually learn to read individual Japanese characters, their exposure to written forms in early years focuses on language items they are learning orally first, in the same way babies acquire their native language in spoken form first, then via written familiar words, and later by sight reading.
Culture is inherent in language. While the curriculum may identify special days and traditions that are covered independently, cultural topics naturally arise from any topic or group of language items being taught, and are dealt with in their context.
Where possible and relevant, units of Japanese work are integrated with students’ generalist classroom themes.
Here is an excellent website for students and parents to find out about Japan and its culture. This website has a good Hiragana charts with sounds. It will be good for students to look at and review the ones that they learn in the class. Every year we celebrate the language and culture of Japan across the whole school, through a range of activities for all students to enjoy.