All students at Kaleen Primary School learn Japanese. In preschool students have about 20 minutes of Japanese
per week. Kindergarten to Year 2 students have one 45 minute lesson per week and in Years 3 to 6 lesson exposure
is increased to 60 minutes per week.
The emphasis in the junior classes is to stimulate students' interest in Japanese and to make learning a foreign
language as fun, interesting and interactive as possible. Songs and games are a favourite way of introducing important
core language (greetings, every day expressions, numbers, colours, animals, likes / dislikes etc.) and traditional
Japanese folk tales are an effective way of exposing students to some keys elements of Japanese culture. The school
is very well resourced with an excellent range of authentic realia, toys and books suitable for younger students.
In Year 3 students learn to recognize hiragana, the basic phonetic script of 46 sounds. By the end of Year 6 students
are very familiar with the hiragana script and know all the rules for reading and writing hiragana. However, the emphasis
in lessons in the senior classes is still based on oral communication with intercultural understanding. Core language
topics include family, food and sport, but then expand to talking about a planned trip to Japan in Year 6.
Term 4 is always a very busy one for the Japanese program as all students and teachers participate in the school's
annual Japanese Day, which is a great celebration of Japanese culture. This event is closely followed by the ACT
Japanese Speech Contest, which allows interested students to showcase their Japanese skills beyond the classroom.
In most years the school hosts a JTA (Japanese Teaching Assistant) from Kagoshima University, who works as a
volunteer in all Japanese classes. These fabulous young people are a real asset to the school's Japanese program.
Ms Mari Kitaska - Japanese (LOTE Teacher)
Japanese Webpage - Games, Activities, Resources, Culture, Videos & Links