Language learning fosters students’ ability to think and reflect about how language works, and to develop an understanding toward others. It relies on a cognitive skill set that promotes mental flexibility and supports student learning in all disciplines. At Carnegie Primary School, students from Grade Prep to Six enjoy a weekly one hour session of Japanese for a semester, each year.
We have a sister school, Mori Higashi Primary School Primary School, Yokohama and have developed a partnership through video conferencing sessions, shared projects and letter exchanges.
Japanese at Carnegie Primary is a communicative program, aimed at sequentially building the range of information students are able to communicate through repetition (ongoing multiple exposures) over many years.
Students learn to read Japanese characters through exposure to language items they are learning orally first, in the same way babies acquire their native language in spoken form first, then via written familiar words, and later by sight reading.
Culture is inherent in language. While the curriculum may identify special days and traditions that are covered independently, cultural topics naturally arise from any topic or group of language items being taught and are dealt with in their context.
We celebrate a whole-school Japan Day biannually which includes activities such as brush calligraphy, sumo wrestling, tea ceremony, Japanese Chess, Japanese popular culture (Manga/Anime), taiko drumming and ikebana (flower arrangement).