Language learning fosters students' ability to think and reflect about how language works, and to develop an understanding towards others. It relies on a cognitive skill set that promotes mental flexibility and supports student learning in all disciplines.
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.
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.
Where possible and relevant, units of Japanese work are integrated with students’ generalist classroom themes.