What does Learning Languages look like at Ponsonby?
Learning a new language provides a means of communicating with people from another culture and exploring one’s own personal world. Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities.
We learn basic Japanese, Te Reo Maori and other Languages for communication, and gaining language and cultural knowledge about the countries and its people.
Developing oral communication through learning greetings, numbers, classroom phrases, introductions and other everyday phrases. Striving towards accuracy in pronunciation using our language knowledge. Written communication and understanding will include writing simple sentences. Students demonstrate knowledge about a country with a language and culture a research project
Why do we teach it?
By learning an additional language and its related cultures, students come to appreciate that languages and cultures are systems that are organised and used in particular ways to achieve meaning. Learning a new language extends students’ linguistic and cultural understanding and their ability to interact appropriately with other speakers.
As they learn a language, students develop their understanding of the power of language. They discover new ways of learning, new ways of knowing, and more about their own capabilities. Learning a language provides students with the cognitive tools and strategies to learn further languages and to increase their understanding of their own languages and cultures.
How do we teach it?
In the communication strand, students learn to use the language to make meaning, developing the receptive skills of listening, reading, and viewing and the productive skills of speaking, writing, presenting and performing. They also watch and listen to native speakers on video media, form sentences, participate in roleplay games, songs and regular quizzes.
In the supporting the language knowledge strand, students study the language in order to understand how it works. They learn about the relationships between different words and different structures. Explicit knowledge of the language will, over time, contribute to greater accuracy of use. Students work on EP lessons, hand writing practise, sentence worksheets and oral speech presentations.
In the cultural knowledge strand, students learn about culture and the interrelationship between culture and language. They learn to recognise different elements of the belief systems of speakers of the target language. Comparing and contrasting different beliefs and cultural practices, including their own, build understanding about themselves and they can become more understanding of others. Use of graphic organisers in the research project are ways to organize and develop their thoughts and ideas.
There is a separate programme for ESOL students that is timetabled daily. These students are regularly tested and assessed. However, we also ensure that ESOL students are immersed in the Ponsonby Experience so are very deliberate as to when and how much time they spend in the ESOL programme.
From the Ponsonby Curriculum. Published 2022.