At Gruyere Primary School students are taught Japanese through the Victorian Curriculum - Languages. They are taught by immersion through a variety of engaging activities, songs, games and stories. Students complete various tasks each semester to demonstrate their ability to speak, listen to, read and write Japanese. They are encouraged to use Japanese as much as possible for classroom routines, social interactions, structured learning tasks, and language experimentation and practice. Students have opportunities to engage with members of the community (including in Japan) who speak Japanese, which in some cases are facilitated via digital technologies. English is used for discussion, explanation and reflection, enabling students to develop a language for sharing ideas about language and culture.
Japanese culture and traditions are also a focus of student learning. In the Languages curriculum area the focus is on both language and culture, as students learn to communicate meaningfully across different linguistic and cultural contexts. This process involves reflection and analysis, as students move between Japanese and their own existing language(s). It is a reciprocal and dynamic process which develops language use and intercultural awareness and understanding.
Japanese is the official language of Japan, a nation of islands located in the East Asia region. The Japanese language is also widely used by communities of speakers in Hawaii, Peru and Brazil, and learnt as an additional language by large numbers of students in the Republic of Korea, China, Indonesia and Australia. Japanese is the language used in Japan for various purposes, including education, business and media communication. Some dialect variations are used in spoken interactions in different regions of the country. It is a phonetic language. Pronunciation is predictable, and new words can be pronounced easily upon mastery of hiragana characters, the basic phonetic script representing the sounds of Japanese. Students are also introduced to katakana (used for expressing foreign words in Japanese) and kanji (chinese characters that represent meaning).