Japanese, Samoan, French, Te Reo, German
Head of Department – Ms Amélie Kelder
❝Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.❞
‒Rita Mae Brown
❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞
Learning a language at St Mary’s College is developing opportunities to learn about and share different cultures and ways of communication in a safe environment
Nowadays learning a language is essential while traveling, globalisation and international trading are increasingly developing.
Being able to speak another language opens a door to new jobs, new countries, new opportunities, new experiences. Whatever the career option students choose, knowing another language presents a huge asset for their future.
St Mary’s languages classes have 3 major areas of focus (linked to NZ Curriculum) :
- Cultural understanding
- Language knowledge
At the Junior level, learning a language is compulsory. Year 9 students choose two languages between Samoan, Japanese and French (if students choose Te Reo Maori, they only have one choice). In year 10, students will generally carry on only one of their year 9 language. (Two languages may be learnt in discussion with Ako and language teacher)
With the increase of technology and rapid improvement of translation applications and devices, Languages teachers believe in the importance of the emphasis of the cultural and communication aspects of a language instead of the focus on the language knowledge only.
A new program for Junior level has been created.
Year 9 students will learn about food in Samoan, Japanese and French cultures as well as basic greetings and politeness components. They will learn the alphabet in different languages as well as using calligraphy to write Japanese characters. Basic skills such as introducing themselves and their family will be included in the program.
In year 10, we maintain a cultural and communication focus but ensure also students have enough language knowledge content to be ready for Senior level and NCEA expectation.
In the Senior school students develop more knowledge of language skills in the target cultural language context. Teachers use immersion teaching style ensuring communication and conversational practices.
Each language has an objective to offer as many authentic activities in target language as possible and maintain a strong connection with the community. Screenings at the cinema, penpals, students exchange with sister schools, overseas trips, food making…. Tu Tangata, Speech competition, short films competition are some example of activities we offer to our students.