“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. Students enrolled in the Gifted and Talented (Languages) Program continue their languages 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.
- Gifted and Talented Languages.
- Exchanges and Tours.
- Scholarships, competitions and prizes.
- Extra-curricular activities.
- 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. 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 students to participate in:
- Fast-paced accelerated programs enabling them 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.
*Sitting exams and completing WACE level language in Year 11 allows students to ‘bank’ their language mark and reduce their Year 12 workload to just five subjects. A reduced workload in Year 12 can help reduce stress for students in their final year, and free up time for their five remaining WACE subjects.
See also 4. Extra Curricular Activities.
2. Exchanges and Tours
Discover Deutschland and Modern History Tour
The tour is combined with Modern History and provides students with opportunities to enrich their language skills as well as improve their appreciation of the German culture and history. It aims to offer a further authentic linguistic experiment for our students of German as well as cater for students of German history. Students will live in families to enrich personal experience of the culture, language and the German heritage. We will also be visiting sites of historical significance to examine the nature and effects of key aspects of the former Nazi state and the legacy of Nazism after WWII. Places we will go to are: Heidelberg, Black Forest, Munich, Nuremberg and Berlin as well as a two-day hike in the German Alps. A tour took place in September/ October 2017.
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. 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 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.
In September 2017, an inaugural China Cultural Tour was organised for Chinese language students from Year 8 to Year 10. The tour provided the students with the opportunity to visit China and to experience Chinese culture. Students also had the opportunity to experience Chinese school life with a day-visit to Beijing AIDI International School. Plans for future exchange tours have been organised with Beijing AIDI International School.
3. Scholarships, competitions and prizes
- 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.
- 2 PASCH scholarships for Year 10 German students annually.
- 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
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) for one-on-one speaking practice;
- 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.