English Course Summary
The ADHS English Curriculum is flexible enough for teachers of English to create units of work which allows them to teach passionately and which connects with students' interests and ability level. Its purpose is to ensure that teachers provide opportunities for students to learn about a range of:
- classic and contemporary texts (written - novels, plays and prose; spoken - speeches, films/TV, radio etc.)
- a range of text types and their context
- texts from Asian perspectives AND Australian Indigenous perspectives (as outlined in the Australian Curriculum)
- deconstruct a range of generic structures and text forms, ensuring that students are able to reproduce these (from the perspective of being able to manipulate language for a range of purposes AS WELL as to provide students with the skills to deconstruct these so that they increase their critical literacy skills
- develop an awareness about the purpose and intended audience of each text type/genre
- be able to analyse/evaluate/explain the writer's purpose and understand such concepts as bias, agenda and perspective
- includes the specific teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling (as they are relevant to the deconstructing of text types and genres)
- refers to the actual mechanics of how to reproduce these text types
Teachers design units of work based on the background learning of their students, their ability level and areas of interest. Units are typically designed around a thematic concept. The following table outlines some of these.
As ADHS is encouraging students to bring their own electronic devices (phones, tablets, etc) in 2013, please explore this list of apps for English that students will find useful for their English studies.
Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Course Summary
The rewards of learning a language last a lifetime and will likely shape students' destinies in ways unimaginable. Learning a language helps young people understand the world better; a skill of the greatest importance in our increasingly connected global community. When people understand how others think it offers them a new vision of the experience of others. Learning a language also enhances a student's ability to engage and understand people who are not necessarily of the same background and experience. The inter-connected nature of the global economy highlights the advantages that can be found in broadening one's skills to include the ability to communicate cross-culturally. Students who learn about a different language and culture gain an ability to reflect on their own cultural identity and place in the global community.
Students who study a foreign language gain enhanced cognitive skills; this is the result of having to analyse, interpret and create understanding from material that is unfamiliar to them. Language learners develop a much deeper appreciation of their own native tongue by learning to analyse their own means of communication from the perspective of a stranger to the language and culture. This is of particular relevance to high school students who are required to undertake increasingly sophisticated analyses of texts and to create their own intellectual content.
Alfred Deakin High School offers Year 7-10 students the choice of Italian, French, Indonesian and Japanese. French language study offers students the chance to learn a classical Romance language of Europe and of an array of former French colonies such as New Caledonia. Indonesian offers students the opportunity to better understand the language and culture of our closest northern neighbours. Japanese study enables students to learn a scripted Asian language and better engage with Australia's greatest trading partner. Even though different students will choose to learn particular languages for a variety of reasons, the rewards of that study are common.
Italian, also known as Standard Italian or italiano standard, is the official language of Italy, the Vatican City, San Marino and parts of Switzerland. It is also an official language of the European Union, and a major community language in countries such as Australia, Luxembourg, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, and in parts of Africa. Italian is, and has been for many years, one of the major community languages in Australia. As Italian is widely spoken in Australia, many opportunities exist to hear and use the language in real-life situations, as well as through the Italian media in Australia and in actual and virtual connections with Italian communities in Italy and beyond. There are also regional dialects of Italian that are used in local contexts both in Italy and beyond. Some students may bring their experience of the use of regional dialects to the Italian classroom.
French language study offers students the chance to learn a classical Romance language of Europe and opens the way to learning other Romance languages more easily, such as Italian. It is also spoken in forty-four countries of the world which together make up a quarter of the world's nations, some of which are Australia's neighbours in the Pacific region. French is also one of the official languages of international organisations, such as the United Nations, the International Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee. French is the second most frequently taught language in the world and is the only language other than English spoken on five continents.
As our largest and closest Asian neighbour, Indonesia provides a wealth of opportunities for engagement in the areas of trade, aid, communication, education and tourism. Both Australian and Indonesian governments place a high priority on the teaching and learning of Bahasa Indonesia and Indonesian culture in Australian schools, as a means of fostering mutual understanding and good relations between our two countries. Indonesian is a wonderful language to undertake by students at the high school level because it is easily accessible and the target country has a rich and diverse culture with which to engage students. Alfred Deakin High School is rich in Indonesian relics, which supports students in their exploration of the Indonesian language and culture. Indonesian is used whenever possible between teacher and students, reinforcing the students' mastery of the topic being studied, and in the long-term, improving each student's confidence in their linguistic ability. Students are encouraged to take risks with their language study by creating their own Indonesian. It is expected that by the end of their high school years, students would have a reasonable command of the spoken and written language, offering them potential pathways into the wider world of college, tertiary study or international travel.
Japan is a prosperous country and a vital trading partner of Australia. Her influence is felt in business, engineering, manufacturing, research, economics and tourism. Being able to communicate with potential customers in their own language is key to winning their business. Furthermore, Japanese is a gateway to other Asian languages and cultures. Throughout its history, Japan has been shaped by the influence of Asia's great civilizations: India, China, and Korea. While the cultures of these Asian countries do differ, Asian cultures together share many similarities that differentiate them from Western ways and norms. The Japanese make up the third largest language community on the Internet, after only English and Chinese speakers.