Our students studying Languages enjoyed diverse cultural and linguistic activities throughout 2020. They engaged in several project based learning tasks and produced meaningful, real world use of French and Japanese.
Our top highlights are:
Increasing elective numbers
Year 7 to 8 French and Years 8 to 9 French and Japanese elective classes are large going into 2021 as a result of implementing our electronic booklets in 2020. The strong academic outcomes for these students are evidence of high motivation and a commitment to reinforcing concepts at home and throughout lockdown. Quality teaching and learning is also happening in Senior French with Year 11 French Continuers and Year 12 Continuers and Extension French.
The National French Competition
The Language Perfect Competition Winners at our school reached Elite and Gold levels and awarded certificates and got a Pizza Party. Well done Heidi, Tayla, Paige, Shay, Bridget and others! Other prizes included were Carambars! Language Perfect sent official certificates for all students who achieved a high level. Well done to our high performing French students.
Professional Development of Languages Staff
The Language teachers have a strong commitment to being lifelong learners and attended numerous professional learning events including Warners Bay High School’s own Best Practice Teams. Rebeca Tamas learned about the AIM teaching methodology for immersive language learning and will apply this in year 9 French 2021. Georgia Slager completed Behaviour Management by Bill Rogers, Comprehensible Input Language Teaching Methodology and Beginning Teacher Professional Learning to finalise her accreditation. Karen Poole engaged with numeracy Professional Learning and multiple French Extension Professional Learning sessions. The Languages staff are highly collaborative and engaged in Statewide Staffroom Zoom’s throughout lockdown and the regular Hunter Language Teachers’ Network meetings. With an awareness to constantly improve their classroom practice, it is the students who benefit directly from the latest practices whether learning online or face to face.
Success in Senior Languages
The student’s retention rate from Year 10 in 2019 to Year 11 French Continuers in 2020 stood high at 66% and out of these students, two thirds of the students are now committed to study French Continuers for their HSC. Furthermore, 83% of these students have also elected to study French Extension, totalling 9 periods of French per week. Warners Bay High School can take pride as being the only comprehensive High School in the Hunter Region to have a Y12 Continuers class in 2021 and the only school to have an Extension French Class. This is a testament to the school community and the strong value it holds towards studying a language in Stage 6.
This last term, students were invited to enrol in a weekly speaking workshop where a native French speaker comes to the school and engages in conversation with our students, discussing their world and future aspirations. The response was overwhelmingly high and students are already reaping the benefits of gaining confidence with their speaking skills.
The Language staff are already planning remote and face-to-face tutorials with organisations in Sydney such as the Alliance Française and Sydney University to better help our students prepare for the HSC by refining their skills for both the French Continuers and the Extensions HSC exams. This class is congratulated for their outstanding achievement and passion for Languages.
Cultural Food Days
The local ‘’Crêpes d’Amour” market stall attended WBHS for a one day event that invited all French classes to taste the famous ‘crêpe’ cooked in the true French style. Year 7 French classes finished their unit about cafe culture by sampling ‘pain au chocolat’, ‘croissant’ and ‘grenadine’. Students learn how to order food in French at the counter to prepare them for future travel experiences and Crepe Day.Year 10 French made crêpes from scratch and decorated a Christmas log cake.
In their second semester, three Year 8 Japanese classes also worked together to bring ingredients and create hand rolled ‘Temakizushi’ including soy sauce and real wasabi flavours.
Electronic Booklets for Year 7 Languages
Our new Year 7 booklets proved to be a success this year as they provided students the perfect balance between learning new linguistic structures and vocabulary as well as exposing our students to the rich cultures of both Japan and France and francophone countries. Furthermore, during COVID-19 lockdown in Term 1 and 2, students were able to continue with their language learning journey with minimal disruption.
Sister School Exchange Online
Throughout 2020, students of Japanese at Warners Bay High School participated in an online exchange with Japanese students in our Sister School, Suginami Gakuin communicating by sending story books, videos and presentations to Suginami.
Year 9 Students improved their linguistic and cultural understanding of Japanese through sharing their presentations to make comparisons about daily routines for Australian and Japanese high school students. Year 9 students also shared Story Books they wrote in Japanese and videos they filmed to promote Australian Tourism with our Sister School.
Year 8 students of Japanese posted Christmas cards to our Sister School students, written in Japanese and decorated with representations of Australian and Japanese cultural celebrations at Christmas time. 2020 has marked 29 years of strong friendship in our bilateral relationship with Suginami Gakuin.
Linguist of the Month
To recognise the great work being done by committed students studying Languages, Linguists of the Month of both French and Japanese were identified and awarded with certificates and prizes. Six admirable linguists from Years 7-12 were showcased for their skills in verb conjugation, vocabulary memorisation, outstanding ongoing effort in lessons and creating original texts using learnt grammatical topics. Well done to the Linguists of the Months of 2020!