Learning a language can be rewarding, stimulating and challenging. It can also be a lot of fun. At Castle Hill High School, students have the opportunity to study French and Japanese from Year 7 to Year 12.
In Year Seven and Eight during Stage 4, all students learn one language for 100 mandatory hours. During these courses, students are introduced to the language, people and culture of France or Japan. Focus is on greetings, introductions, numbers, school, leisure activities, food and cooking.
We incorporate a wide range of teaching strategies to cater for different learning styles and make good use of interactive and computer activities. Emphasis is on the four skills, reading, writing, (introduction to the script in Japanese) speaking and listening. Students all have the opportunity to enjoy French or Japanese food during our annual restaurant visits.
After 2 years, students have the opportunity to choose one or both of these languages as a 200 hour elective course in Years 9 and 10 for the School Certificate. During theses courses, they will further develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in French or Japanese and increase their understanding of the culture and people of France or Japan.
Students may continue their language study in year 11 and 12 to HSC level in 2 Unit courses, with extension offered in Year 12. Beginners Courses in French and Japanese are also offered.
Since 1998, Castle Hill High School has a history of offering all elective students the opportunity of an in-country experience. We organise a biennial study tour to France, visiting the major sites of Paris and the south of France, based in Nice.
Because we have established a Japanese sister-school relationship, students may take part in well-planned study tours to Japan where they may stay with host families, attend school and interact with native speakers.
These tours have proven to be immensely popular with elective students and they all return enlightened, informed and independent, ready to continue their language study.
Every year we enjoy a visit from students from our sister schools in Onojo, Japan.
We are very grateful to the CHHS community who annually provide home-stay for students from France and Japan. Without the continued support of the CHHS we would never being able to offer the wide range of overseas language programs that we do.
The ability to speak a foreign language is a valuable asset which promotes literacy and intercultural awareness. It may also broaden a student's career prospects and enhance their understanding of the world around them.