Stage 4 (Year 7 and Year 8)
Students start by learning the Japanese Hiragana writing system. They will also cover topics such as greetings, self-introduction, numbers, colours, finding out information about family, pets, etc. Students will also learn about various Japanese cultural features, e.g. customs, famous cities, festivals and celebrations.
Stage 5 (Year 9 Year 10)
Students will continue their learning of the Japanese language and culture. Some students will continue their study of Japanese in their senior years.
Stage 6 (Year 11 Year 12)
Students will have the option of choosing one of the following courses:
Some excursions that have occurred.
Every year on one Saturday before the HSC Oral examination, Year 12 students of Japanese Beginners and Continuers classes attend the excursion to the "HSC speaking Day" organised by the NSW Japanese Teachers' Association. On the excursion, the students have one session of reading and one session of listening and were provided with the chance to get speaking practice with 4 different teachers. After the practice, the students received feedback from the teachers and most of them agreed they benefited from the excursion for the HSC.
In the early spring of Sydney, when cherry blossoms start blooming, Japanese classes go to the Auburn Japanese garden to have an "Ohanami" (flower viewing) excursion. It is a tradition that in April, the season of the cherry blossom, Japanese people get together to have a picnic under the cherry blossom trees to watch and appreciate the beauty of the sakura (cherry blossoms). Japanese students bring their Obento (packed lunch boxes) and eat under the sakura trees. They also enjoy learning and playing Japanese traditional games, sketching the beautiful cherry blossom flowers and trees.
In November every year, the Japanese film festival is held in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. In Sydney there is one session specially offered to schools, in which Japanese is taught. The movies shown are always about the young people at about same age as our students. Therefore, our students share the laughter and tears with the characters in the movie. From time to time, when our students catch some of the language they have learned in the class, they are very happy.
At the end of every year, an experience of Japanese Obento (lunch boxes) is always a popular activity for the Japanese classes. The incursion is planned after the unit of Japanese food. The Obento were ordered from a Japanese restaurant in the city with a good combination of unique Japanese food starting from simple rice balls to delicious Teriyaki salmon. Under the sunlight of summer, the students enjoyed something different from their usual daily foods. Some of them comment that they like the food while some of them say they do not like certain foods. The most important thing is the experience.
In August every year, our school has the pleasure to host student study groups from Mibu town, Tochigi prefecture, Japan. This started in 2014 and four groups have visited us so far.
Every year both the guest group and our school group have a lot of fun together and the visits are always very successful. The visit starts with a presentation about the NSW education system and about our school, presented by some senior students in the Japanese language. Then students enjoy an Australian BBQ lunch, followed by Lamingtons and Vegemite. The Japanese kids love Lamingtons and some students like Vegemite as well. After lunch, the group have a school tour and classroom visits. They go to the music, maths, history and Tas classes and see the different class setting and enjoy the atmosphere. Then the students have a cultural exchange session. The Japanese students teach Concord students to play some Japanese traditional games, such as "Karuta", "Fukuwarai" and "Darumasanga Koronda", dance together "Youkai" exercise & "Ayatori", "Kamishibai" "Momotaro" (Peach boy). The last session is either learning one Australian sport (cricket, football etc) or enjoying having some art class (Aboriginal dotting painting) .
Japanese study tour
In September 2014, 20 students went to visit Japan. The length of the tour was 11 days and 10 nights. The group landed at Tokyo Narita airport, starting their adventures from a very modern capital city to some very ancient cities, such as Kyoto, Kurashiki and Miyazaki. One school visit was to Ikeda High School in Osaka and was "the best part of the tour" according to some students. Before we went to Japan, we learnt about Japanese education, school and school life. The students heard about students' cleaning duty after school and various after-school club activities. But it was different to have the experience to knee on the Tatami to learn some Japanese tea ceremony with Sado club and to have one lesson on Japanese calligraphy and write some difficult Kanji (Chinese characters) on a blank white fan and to see Japanese students clean their classrooms and common area after school. At the end of the day, it was hard to say goodbye to our buddies as friendship is so easy to establish among young people.