Scared Heart Girls College Oakleigh

Languages

Language learning not only provides girls with a more enriched cultural awareness, it is also an intellectual challenge to learn to communicate with others in a language which may be unfamiliar.

Sacred Heart Girls’ College has a rich tradition of language learning which enhances understanding of one’s first language and builds tolerance through enhanced communication skills.

When Year 7 students begin at Sacred Heart, they have a choice of studying any two of three languages offered at the College – French, Indonesian and Italian. They then choose to continue with one of the two languages in Year 8. The study of a language is compulsory until the end of Year 9, but many students continue with their chosen language until Year 12.

In addition to the language study completed in class, students have many other opportunities of developing language proficiency. Many students participate in a range of competitions including: the annual Alliance Française Poetry Recitation Competition; the Italian Poetry Recitation Competition run by Swinburne University; the Dante Alighieri Poetry Recitation or Original Poetry Writing Competitions and the Assessment of Language Competency Certificate for Indonesian.

Cultural activities are an integral part of language learning. Songs and films play an important role as do visits to the National Gallery of Art and the Immigration Museum. Girls are also engaged in workshops and performances such as the Indonesian dancers and instrumentalists who entertain and instruct our Years 8 - 10 students and ‘La Commedia Dell’arte’ workshops enjoyed by Year 10 students. When the topic of food is studied at Years 9 or 10, food from the relevant country is always sampled and thoroughly enjoyed. Visits to French, Indonesian or Italian restaurants are also very popular with many senior students.

One of the highlights of language learning at Sacred Heart is the opportunity to undertake a Language and Culture Tour which takes place each year. In 2008 students and teachers journeyed to Malaysia, in 2009 it was to New Caledonia and this year, in March 2010, students of Italian in Years 10 to 12 had the opportunity to visit Italy.