One of the greatest benefits of learning a language is the ability to appreciate and understand the diversity of cultures locally, nationally and globally. It also provides greater academic achievement, greater cognitive development, and increased critical thinking skills. The aim is to give all students at AJHS the opportunity to learn about a variety of languages and cultures, gain confidence, enhance their communication skills and make links to the world around them.
Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese and Te reo Māori are taught at all levels at AJHS. This is done using the communicative approach to learning, focusing on students having the ability to interact appropriately with other people. To enhance language learning, teachers use a variety of ICT strategies which are, along with cultural activities, integrated throughout all year levels.
In Year 7 and Year 8 students will be introduced to all five languages. The students have two 20 week courses each year to introduce them to the basics of the specific language and its culture. They will learn how to have basic conversations with others about themselves and the world around them.
In Year 9, students will choose a minimum of one language to study, and in Year 10 students have the option to take Japanese, Te reo Māori, Spanish, French and or Mandarin.
These options extend their linguistic and cultural knowledge to make them more effective communicators. Students will develop more explicit knowledge of the language while further increasing their receptive and productive skills. Students will learn to speak, read and write about a range of theme-based topics, and make comparisons and contrasts of New Zealand and their chosen languages communities.
More importantly, students will be provided with the cognitive tools and critical thinking strategies to problem solve, manage themselves while increasing their understanding of their own language and culture, as well as building their confidence.