Languages

Learning a language at St Andrew’s Anglican College opens up a world of possibilities. We offer Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in the Secondary School.

In Years 7 and 8 our students are provided with one semester of Spanish twice a week and one semester of Mandarin twice a week to prepare them with the skills to be able to make an educated elective choice come year 9. 

Once a language has been elected to study, Year 9 students have 3 x 40 minute, year 10- 4 x 40 minute and year 12- 5x40 minute sessions of language instruction per week. All language students in the secondary school have online membership to “Education Perfect” as a tool for vocabulary practise and extended personal learning opportunities. 

For Australia, the countries of the Asian region are of critical importance. They are our closest neighbours and major trading partners. They represent the cultural heritage of a growing number of Australians, and their rich traditional and contemporary cultures provide opportunities for our social, creative and intellectual development.

To enable students to engage with Asia, the ability to communicate in one or more Asian languages is seen as a necessary skill. The national policy statement also identifies the ability to interact effectively and confidently with Asian people within and outside Australia, as a goal for the end of young people's schooling. Chinese is a valuable language for Australians to learn. The significance of learning Chinese within and beyond Australia requires strategies for building sociocultural, economic and political engagement: learning Chinese in the Australian context will support such engagement

The basic principle underlying the study of Chinese is learning in communicative contexts. Communication encompasses the exchange and negotiation of meaning between individuals through the use of verbal and nonverbal symbols in aural, oral, visual and written modes. It involves both receptive and productive processes through the application of language learning to new situations.

Language competency is acquired at varying rates depending on a variety of factors including: exposure to the language, range and quality of learning experiences and continuity of studies.

Language develops progressively as students endeavour to communicate with increasing precision and detail. Their language becomes more complex in form and more varied in vocabulary. For this reason, this course is designed to cater for students' entry into the course at any stage in Year 7 and Year 8.

The school is equipped with resources to provide students, such as the Primary Language Learning CD, which students new to the course can use to assist them catch up with the remainder of their cohort.

Assessment tasks are designed to assist students' development in the four macroskills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). As macroskills can develop interdependently some assessment tasks are designed to incorporate more than one macroskill. At the conclusion of the semester, students' results throughout their assessment are averaged to receive their final grade. All macroskills are given equal importance. However, if an assessment task involves more than one macroskill it is natural that it will be weighted more heavily than others. If a student has shown great improvement over the course of the semester and their average mark is borderline between two achievement levels, the teacher may choose to award the more generous mark, with a latest and fullest approach. The assessments are designed to assess students' ability to use Chinese to complete a variety of communicative tasks. Because of the communicative nature of the task, the tasks may often combine two or more macroskills (Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing).

Assessment Tasks include:

Listening Responding to a range of spoken material including conversations, interviews, reports and speeches
Speaking Role-playing; conversing with the teacher or other students; presenting a talk on a familiar topic
Reading Responding to a range of written material such as magazine articles, emails, letters, tourist brochures
Writing Writing letters, emails, travel brochures, invitations, advertisements

Staff Contacts

Megan Cleyne
Head of Languages

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