Stage 4 Japanese (Year 8)
Learning languages provides the opportunity for students to engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of the world and its peoples. Students broaden their horizons in relation to personal, social, cultural and employment opportunities in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Proficiency in languages provides a national resource that serves communities within Australia and enables the nation to engage more effectively with the global community.
Contemporary research and practice have established a clear link between the learning of languages and improved literacy skills for both background speakers and second or additional language learners. Through the development of communicative skills in a language and understanding of how language works as a system, students further develop literacy in English, through close attention to detail, accuracy, logic and critical reasoning. Learning languages exercises students’ intellectual curiosity, increases metalinguistic awareness, strengthens intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities, and enhances creative and critical thinking.
Japanese is the official language of Japan, one of Australia’s northern neighbours in the Asia region. There are also large Japanese-speaking communities in Hawaii, Peru and Brazil. Australia has a significant number of Japanese national residents, particularly in the major cities on the eastern seaboard. Japan has been a close strategic and economic partner of Australia for more than 50 years, and there is ongoing exchange between the two countries in the areas of education, trade, diplomacy and tourism.
The study of Japanese provides access to the language and culture of one of the global community’s most technologically advanced societies and economies. Students engage with elements of modern Japan, including popular culture such as anime, manga, music and fashion, as well as with the rich cultural tradition of this part of Asia. Students develop an appreciation for the place of Australia within the Asia region, including the interconnections of languages and cultures, peoples and communities, histories and economies.
The ability to communicate in Japanese provides incentives for travel and for more meaningful interactions with speakers of Japanese, encouraging sociocultural understanding between Australia and Japan, and cohesion within the Australian community. It also provides opportunities for students to gain insights into the contributions that have been made by Japanese-speaking communities to Australian society and to the global community.
Through learning languages, students develop an intercultural capability and an understanding of the role of language and culture in communication, and become more accepting of difference and diversity. They develop understanding of global citizenship, and reflect on their own heritage, values, culture and identity.
The study of Japanese in stage 4 may be the basis for further study of one of the differentiated Japanese syllabuses available for study in Stage 6, and for future employment, within Australia and internationally, in areas such as commerce, tourism, entertainment, hospitality, education, sport, visual arts, performing arts and international relations.