Languages

“If you can talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

Studying a language is increasingly recognised as important to prepare young people to live in an ever changing global environment. Across the curriculum students learn about different cultures and customs, about communicating successfully in other contexts and about being able to deal with global challenges of the future.

It is one of Rossmoyne’s priorities to raise future ready citizens, and language plays an important role towards achieving that aim, providing students with authentic and exciting opportunities to learn a second (or third) language.

Rossmoyne Senior High School offers students opportunities to study four languages: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German and Japanese. All languages are taught as Second Language Courses, while Chinese (Mandarin) is taught both as a ‘second language’ course and as ‘advanced’ courses for students from Chinese–speaking backgrounds and students who speak Chinese as their first language.  Currently all Year 7 to 9 students are required to study at least one language other than English.  Year 10 students enrolled in the Gifted and Talented (Languages) Program continue their studies in Year 10.  For other Year 10 students the study of a foreign language becomes an elective, however, all students are encouraged to continue their chosen language studies through Year 10 and beyond.  There are many opportunities for all students to extend their language learning and level of proficiency through extra-curricular and co-curricular activities including participating in organised trips or overseas exchanges.

Very strict criteria for eligibility apply to students studying all languages as a second language.  Students who have a background in other languages should discuss their choice of language with the Head of the Languages Department, or Associate Principal, at the point of enrolling. Please note that if your child has a background in any of the other languages, we advise that they study another language at our school as strict eligibility criteria apply for studying the language at upper school. Please contact the department should you have any queries regarding this matter.

  1. Gifted and Talented Languages.
  2. Exchanges and Tours.
  3. Scholarships, competitions and prizes.
  4. Extra-curricular activities.
  5. Curriculum Matters.

1.  Gifted and Talented Languages.

Rossmoyne Senior High School offers the Gifted and Talented (GT) Languages Program to those students who were merit selected by the Department of Education Gifted and Talented Selection Unit and Rossmoyne SHS. The highly competitive entry process yields students who are inquisitive, eager to learn, able to grasp abstract and difficult concepts easily, love language learning and who may well possess gifts and talents in other areas such as music, drama, public speaking or on the sporting field.

Past and present GT Languages students figure prominently on the Languages Honour Board as well as on the lists of Certificate of Excellence and High Achievement recipients and other awards of excellence across the eight learning areas, especially the Arts.

Rossmoyne caters for the needs of these very able students by grouping them in discrete classes for their selected language as well as English, Mathematics, Science and Society & Environment. Students will remain in these discrete groups through Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.

A differentiated curriculum is covered as these voracious students engage in studies at greater depth or make links to other learning areas.

All GT Languages students in Years 7 – 10 attend an additional before or after hours 60-minute session per week on an agreed day. The extra tuition time allows teachers and students to explore different aspects of language learning and these may include:

  • Fast-paced accelerated programs allowing students to take WACE language exams in Year 11;
  • cross-curricular activities, i.e. working with other teachers in different subjects;
  • working on long-term projects in the target language, e.g. drama, music, media;
  • exploring specific cultural events in the target languages; making use of specific talents, which students themselves may display in areas such as the Arts and Technology.

See also 4. Extra Curricular Activities.


2.  Exchanges and Tours

Exchange with German schools in Göttingen.

This exchange is organised by the Modern Languages Teachers Association of Western Australia (MLTAWA) German Cultural Visits Program. Each year students of German in Years 10 and 11 are given the opportunity to travel to Germany and/or to host a student from Germany. The exchange to Germany takes place in December and January usually over a six week period. Students stay with host families and also travel to various parts of Germany as a group.  Reciprocal hosting takes place in July and August over about four weeks.  This is a very popular exchange and provides each participant with a unique experience to stay in the country, interacting with native German speakers.  Details about this exchange are provided by the teachers of German at Rossmoyne Senior High School.

Japanese exchange

This annual event is an exchange with our sister school, Himeji Nishi High School in Hyogo prefecture.  The exchange provides Year 10 and 11 students of Japanese the opportunity to visit Japan and to host a Japanese student.  Typically, students travel to Japan in December or January for two weeks and host Japanese students in August for a similar period.  An exchange such as this broadens students’ horizons and helps to promote understanding and goodwill between our two cultures.  Participants also improve their level of Japanese language proficiency.  Details about this exchange are provided by the teachers of Japanese at Rossmoyne Senior High School.

French exchange to France

This is a biennial, reciprocal exchange to France comprising a two-week stay in a French family in Lyon attending classes at our sister school, St Thomas D’Aquin College, and one week in Paris sightseeing.  In February 2016, Rossmoyne Senior High School will host a group of students from Lyon, then in April will in-turn be hosted by these same students.  Successive groups of students have put living with a French family and improving their spoken French at the top of their exchange highlights.  Details about the 2016 Exchange are provided by the teachers of French at Rossmoyne Senior High School.

French exchange to La Réunion

Each year, students of French in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 are given the opportunity to travel to the island of La Réunion and/or to host a student from La Réunion. The exchange to La Réunion takes place in July over approximately four weeks.  Students stay with host families. Reciprocal hosting takes place during December and January.  This exchange is organised by the WA La Réunion Student Exchange committee and is open to students of French across Western Australia. Details about this exchange are provided by the teachers of French at Rossmoyne Senior High School.

Chinese exchange

It is envisaged that Sister-school arrangements will be established with at least one school in China, in order for exchange programs to commence. We are hoping that the inaugural exchange trip to China will take place in 2016.


3.  Scholarships, competitions and prizes

The following scholarships are available to students, studying languages at Rossmoyne Senior High School.  Teachers of the respective languages provide application and participation details each year.

  • Sangora scholarship for students going to continue their language studies at tertiary level.
  • Seizan Fukami – Fund Scholarships for Year 12 students of Japanese.
  • SAGSE scholarship for Year 10 and 11 students of German to travel to Germany over a six week period.
  • P.A.D. German government scholarships for Year 11 students
  • Deutsch Australischer Sprachverein (DAS) examinations
  • Book prizes for diligence in learning German from the Goethe-Institut, Germany
  • German film making competition
  • Alliance Française examinations
  • National Chinese Speaking Competition, Hanyuquiao for students of Chinese.
  • CLTA Chinese Writing and Speaking Competition for students of Chinese.
  • Japanese film making competition.
  • Japanese Speaking Competition for students of Japanese.

Languages Honour Board

 2015
German Gifted and Talented Students Year 10  German Film Competition winners
Rossmoyne Senior High School  West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Chinese as a Second Language
Rossmoyne Senior High School  West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Japanese as a Second Language
W Yoman Year 12  National Japanese Speech Contest (Japan Foundation, Sydney) – Second Place
 2014
 S Wu  Year 12  Seizan Fukami Fund Scholarship winner
 J Chandra  Year 12  Sangora Foundation Scholarship equal winner
 German Gifted and Talented (Program) students Year 10 German Film Competition winners
 2013
 Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: French
 Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Japanese as a Second Language
 A Lee  Year 12 Nacel French scholarship
 M Su  Year 11 Ministry of Education – Japan (MEXT) and AFS Intercultural Programs Scholarship
 Rossmoyne SHS 31st Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest (Japanese Embassy, ACT): Rossmoyne awarded School of the Year
 2012
Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Japanese as a Second Language
 Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Chinese as a Second Language
 Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: German as a Second Language
 J Kenna  Year 11 Society of Australian German Student Exchange (SAGSE) Scholarship.  All expenses paid exchange to Germany
 2011
 Rossmoyne SHS West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: French as a Second Language
West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) – Top School: Japanese as a Second Language
 K Liu  Year 11 National Chinese Star Writing Competition – 3rd Prize
 A Wong  Year 12 State and National Japanese Speech Competition – 1st Place in A Division and represented WA in the national competition in Sydney, where he placed 2nd.
 A Pitts Year 11 SAGSE scholarship – All expenses paid trip to Germany

 


 

4. Extra Curricular Activities

Each year language students are involved in various out-of-school activities. These activities enhance the target language learning and provide students with an increased awareness of the intercultural aspects of language learning.  Typically these activities include:

  • visits to restaurants, related to the target language countries;
  • visits to cinemas to watch films in the target languages;
  • outings to performances, ie. drama, music, entertainment in the target languages;
  • every year the Year 7 Gifted and Talented students showcase their achievements in their language learning incoming Gifted and Talented Language students at the Year 6 Presentation Evening;
  • students are given extensive practice with native speakers to improve their speaking skills and are expected to use their language skills to contribute to the local community.  This may take the form of arranging games in the foreign language for primary students, or putting on a performance, or helping plan and participate in special events in the languages calendar (Oktoberfest, French Immersion Day, Panda Picnic); and
  • teachers of Rossmoyne Senior High School collaborate with colleagues in other schools to arrange language specific cultural and linguistic extension activities.

 


5. Curriculum matters

At Rossmoyne Senior High School language students are privileged to have a variety of experiences, which add value to the teaching and learning language programs, including:

  • the availability of language assistant(s);
  • the availability of a  language assistant for one day per week;
  • the incidental help of parents, who possess expertise in respective target languages;
  • the majority of our teachers are native speakers and all place high priority on their professional learning;
  • a wide variety of teaching and learning materials; and
  • contemporary language courses.