At Brisbane Grammar School the study of languages remains a core element of the liberal education provided to all students. The study of a language is a popular inclusion in Senior courses of study at Grammar, with, typically, a third of all students continuing with their language study through to Senior. The Languages Department teaches Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Latin.
The study of a language enables students to develop a number of essential communication skills, as well as important complex reasoning and problem solving processes. Students are involved every lesson in communicating ideas, information, opinions, arguments and conclusions in a variety of formats and for a variety of audiences. Another important aspect of their learning is gaining an appreciation for their own language and culture, in addition to understanding and valuing other cultures through the study of language. The school's commitment to languages is deliberately broad based and intended to equip students with the lifelong skill set to enable mastery of many languages.
Assessment in the modern languages is divided into four macroskills – aural, oral, reading and writing – with each of these skills given equal importance in the curriculum.
In Years 5 and 6 the study of Spanish provides an accessible introduction to and grounding in the fundamental skills of language acquisition. All students in Year 7 take one semester of Latin largely as a primer in grammatical structures but within the context of the study of Roman culture. Students are also assigned to one of the modern languages (Chinese, French, German and Japanese) with concentrated study continuing over three years. From Year 9 the further study of Latin becomes available to those students who have demonstrated exceptional proficiency in the study of languages. At Year 10 level the study of a language becomes elective and essentially preparatory for Senior.
Students have access to native language assistants in small group intensive conversation classes. These lessons are considered an important adjunct to their regular lessons and are held on a regular basis in withdrawal rooms.
Participation in co-curricular activities such as speech contests and language competitions is actively encouraged. The Departments boast enviable records in such competitions and external achievement measures. Excursions and other events (e.g. restaurant visits, foreign movies, drama performances) related to each language are arranged, where appropriate, to complement the course. Regular trips and exchange opportunities are available for students to travel abroad. An annual exchange of students exists with Seifu Gakuen, our long standing sister school, located in Osaka, Japan. Student trips to France, Germany, China and Singapore are also held on a regular basis.
The Head of Languages is Ms Jenine Sapoungis
T +61 7 3834 5316