Navigator College offers Japanese from Reception through to Year 9. All students in the Middle School participate in Japanese. At Navigator College we believe that Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and permeates the whole curriculum. It is necessary not only to learn language, but also learn about language and through language. Learning best takes place in authentic contexts, and the arts and cultural experiences play a special role in enabling this to happen.
Every student benefits from having access to different cultures, perspectives and languages. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and helps facilitate international understanding. Therefore, Navigator College aims to provide the opportunity for all students to learn more than one language.
The benefits of learning languages and cultures extend beyond the individual to the development of a significant resource for communities, with the potential to contribute at both a local and an international level. There is substantial evidence that Australian economic activities, particularly in competitive situations requiring market penetration, would benefit from the skilled use of the host countries’ languages and active knowledge and appreciation of cultural values and behaviours. This can be a determining factor in gaining a competitive advantage in trade. (Ministry of Ed, Vic., 1988. p13.)
Japanese is organised around three strands which reflect the nature of learning languages and cultures; they are as follows:
• understanding language
• understanding culture.
These three strands are interdependent and, taken holistically, form an integrated concept of both language using and language learning, as well as reflection. While all three strands are integrated in language use, at times a particular focus on one strand will be required for explicit teaching and learning purposes. (SACSA, 2007)