Head of Languages

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.

Albert Einstein

 

This year NESA has released new syllabuses for a number of K-10 languages, including Chinese, French and Italian. What does this mean for our students?

From 2019, for Years 7 and 9, and from 2020, for Years 8 and 10, Languages teachers will need to follow the new syllabuses which will provide students with the opportunity to engage with their language studies in a more authentic way, while developing those ‘general capabilities’ required to be successful citizens of the 21st century. To learn how to implement those changes effectively, we will be engaged with a number of professional development courses where we will familiarise ourselves with the new framework, content and outcomes. It is a significant historical phase for our subject in NSW and we are looking forward to embarking on this new journey.

This is also the first year we are implementing the new Stage 6 School-based assessment requirements in Year 11 language courses as mandated by NESA. Year 11 Languages teachers have been collaborating with teachers of other schools to learn how to develop new tasks and at the end of last year one of our teachers, Josephine Hampton, presented at the AISNSW Language Conference to share ideas which we worked on together within our faculty.

Change is a motif which recurs often in our daily lives and it can be hard to embrace. As educators, our mission is to help students to pursue their passion for learning and to think critically and creatively. However, if we want students to take certain risks and be open to new ideas, we need to be the first to model this behaviour and mindset. At times, this can be difficult but challenges are often catalysts for positive change and we are already experimenting with new approaches to further improve our professional practice and consequently, students’ learning.

At the beginning of the year, as a team, we discussed and reflected on our goals for 2018. As strong believers in the immense benefits of language learning, our dream is to develop self-efficacy and competency in all our students to make them experience success in our lessons. This led to the implementation of ‘speaking routines’ with some Chinese, French and Italian junior students who have responded positively to this new learning activity as it has helped them to develop confidence in their language skills and achieve their goal of being able to speak in another language.

In senior years, students continue to work hard and practise their speaking skills with our French assistant Ms Isabelle Pellet and our new Italian assistant Ms Claudia Schilirò. We thank parents and carers for continuing to support our students in their learning journey. It is truly a fascinating and rewarding experience to see them grow and develop the skills and knowledge they will need in their future lives and careers. The relationships, the memories and even the challenging times will be precious gifts to be grateful for and to keep in our hearts.

 

Mrs Stefania Thomsett

Head of Languages