Here at St Emilie’s we are committed to increasing opportunities for school students to become familiar with the language and cultures of Australia’s key regional neighbours, namely China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Thailand.
Aligned with the Australian Curriculum the rationale for learning Asian languages through a cultural immersion program involves:
• harnessing the local expertise we have both on staff and in our multi-cultural school community
• extending students’ capability to communicate: proficiency in languages expands children’s communicative repertoire, develops literacy and increases their engagement as citizens and participants within and across local, regional and global contexts
• strengthening students’ understanding and knowledge of the nature of language, culture and of processes of communication
• developing an intercultural capability which includes an understanding of, and respect for, diversity and difference, and an openness to different perspectives and experiences that, in turn, develop world-mindedness and a sense of global citizenship
• strengthening the intellectual and analytical capability of students to engage with different ways of making meaning
• developing students’ awareness of cultural assumptions and values that frame the world view shaped through their own first language(s) and culture(s)
• strengthening cognitive and general learning capabilities such as creative and critical thinking: brain research shows that language learning uses and develops particular and unique conceptualisation skills and meta-cognition
• strengthening students’ knowledge of concepts across the curriculum
• extending students’ understanding of themselves, their own heritage and identities, and their sense of connectedness to others through reflection on their experiences and those of others
• potentially enhancing students’ employment and career prospects later in life.