In NSW high schools, languages is a key learning area.
Language study allows students to develop communication skills, learn about languages as systems and explore the relationship between language and culture. Students engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of societies and reflect on their understanding of social interactions.
The study of a language is compulsory for 100 hours in one continuous school year from Year 7 to Year 10, but preferably in Years 7 or 8.
In Years 11 and 12, NSW schools offer a wide variety of languages, catering for beginning students to background speakers.
Languages at Heathcote High
The Language faculty offers courses in two languages: Indonesian and French.
In Year 7, all students study French for one semester and Indonesian for one semester. In Year 8, students may choose to study either French or Indonesian as they complete the mandatory 100 hours of Language required for the award of their ROSA (Record of School Achievement) at the end of Year 10.
In Years 9 and 10 they may choose to study either language as an elective through to the end of Year 10. In Years 11 and 12, students have the opportunity to continue their study of either language through the Continuers Course (if they have studied that language in Years 9 and 10). Students also have the opportunity to study a Beginners Course in either French or Indonesian for the HSC. This course is available for those students who have not studied a Language in Years 9 and 10 and carries the same weight for the award of an ATAR as the Continuers course.
In all years, we use an intercultural language learning approach (IcLL) in the teaching of Language. The main premise of intercultural language learning is the intrinsic connection that exists between language and culture. Culture permeates every aspect of our daily life, including our interactions. Our language students explore the interdependence between language and culture in an engaging and meaningful way. They learn to examine and reflect upon cultural values reflected in language and analyse language embedded in culture. They are encouraged to think about, explore, question, interpret, articulate and reflect on aspects of Indonesian and French culture in relation to their own language(s) and culture.
The IcLL approach used to teach Languages at Heathcote High helps our students better understand themselves and their languages. They learn to better understand their own cultural identity and language and how this influences their interactions with others. They learn to respect other ways of viewing the world and develop the skills they will need to interact with people from their own and other cultures in our increasingly globalised world.
- Access to personalised language learning using devices such as IPADS and Chromebooks
- Multi-media language learning resources
- Cultural visits and excursions
- Exposure to cultural performance groups and native speakers
- E-pal correspondence with students in France and Indonesia
- Opportunities for overseas study trips
- Overseas student exchange programs
- Hosting of overseas students
- Access to the Open High School for the independent study of a language not offered by the school in Years 11 and 12.
Why Indonesian and French?
The majority of the world's population speak two or more languages. Learning another language gives lifelong benefits and the cognitive, intellectual and psychological benefits are now well researched and documented. The skills acquired through language learning will never become obsolete!
The study of Indonesian gives our students the opportunity to explore an Asian language and culture. Bahasa Indonesia is spoken by approximately 250 million people who inhabit one of our closest neighbouring countries and the world's fourth most populous nation. A further 30 million people speak the language in Malaysia. Australia's political, cultural and economic ties to both Indonesia and Malaysia are strong and both Indonesia and Malaysia have large expat communities. Indonesia is Australia's second most popular tourist destination after New Zealand. Indonesia is also emerging as a major player in the global economic market.
French is one of the few languages spoken all over the world by approximately 230 million people in 53 countries. French shares with English the distinction of being taught as a foreign language in the education systems of most countries around the world. French is thus the second most widely learned foreign language in the world. The francophone country of New Caledonia is one of Australia's closest neighbours. French is one of the working languages of many other international institutions: the OECD, UNESCO, UNHCR, The World Health Organisation, the World Trade Organization, UNICEF and FIFA to name a few. French plays a special role in international sporting life as an official language of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and hence of the Olympic Games. France and the French-speaking countries play an active part in the world economy, accounting for some 20% of world trade in goods. Australia's political, historical, economic and cultural ties to the French speaking world are numerous and strong.