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 other than English
The study of languages provides opportunities for students to become more accepting of diversity, to be more respectful of others and more aware of their place in the international community.
At Bankstown Girls' High School, the process of teaching and learning languages focuses on linguistic systems and patterns. The need to move between linguistic systems assists students to develop enhanced mental dexterity.
French is one of the major languages in the world. It is used in parts of Europe, Canada, North America, Africa, the Middle East, the West Indies, the Indian Ocean region and the South Pacific region close to Australia, namely New Caledonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
Through the study of French, students will experience and appreciate the richness and diversity of the art, cuisine, literature, film and music of French-speaking communities.
In Year 8, Stage 4 of the French K-10 syllabus is being taught with emphasis on basic conversation, cultural knowledge such as food, fashion and celebrations, as well as francophone countries. Students also experience the language with ICT, songs, movies and interactive experiences. Classes are lively with active learning through role plays. Students learn about basic grammar, which helps them improve their English literacy.
In the Senior Years - Stage 5 & 6, the French Beginners ATAR course 2 Unit HSC is taught following the French HSC Syllabus.
The topics covered include family, friends, school, neighbourhood, future plans, francophone countries and cultural aspects of the language. Students learn to have a conversation for a minimum of 5 minutes about their own world, learn to read and write, as well as listen and speak the language. Students also learn about the foundations of the language through grammar, present, past and future tenses. They also have the opportunity to live authentic experiences such as eating at a French restaurant.