Published on June 23, 2021
There’s something beautifully rich and melodic about the French language, often referred to as the language of love. But in the Junior School it’s considered the language of learning and is supporting Preschool to Year 6 students develop cultural awareness, build international mindedness and improve communication and cognition.
Why do HVGS students learn French?
Learning a language plays an important part in the cognitive development and maintenance of the cultural identity of students. Research suggests that there are many benefits to learning another language, ranging from brain development, cultural awareness, improved communication, open-mindedness, and tolerance to other world cultures. Speaking a foreign language also increases students’ cognitive capacity, develops thinking and listening skills, and enhances students’ problem solving.
The French Program is taught by specialist teachers to students from Preschool to Year 6. French lessons are developed and shaped around three aspects of language learning:
- A strong communicative focus, which aims to build students’ ability to understand and interact in French;
- A linguistic component, which provides students with a deeper understanding of the construction of the language;
- A cultural aspect, which allows students to appreciate differences and similarities with curiosity and an open mind.
What do students learn?
For students in the Early Learning Centre, Kindergarten and Years 1 and 2, there is a focus on the child and the world that surrounds them: who I am, my family, where I live, the weather, in my garden, transport types, the toys I like to play with, and the study of a French artist.
In Years 3 and 4, students deepen their understanding of the world, exploring things such as day-to-day interaction, the weather, cultural stories, our school environment, colonisation, art appreciation.
In Years 5 and 6, students study the French Revolution, the body, the clothes we wear, holidays, migration, towns, sports and hobbies. French in the Junior School is a gateway to exploring other cultures and reinforcing tolerance. Ultimately, though, it supports our goal for students to be better global citizens.