The year began with a number of cultural festivities in Languages classes including the celebration of the Year of the Rooster for students of Mandarin. In the Italian classes, masks were decorated and frittelle and crostoli were devoured for Carnevale. We also applauded the successes of the 2016 HSC French and Italian Language students. As Term 2 gets underway, students are focusing on upcoming examinations and assessments. It is timely to remind students that learning does not end when examinations are over. Language learning is about acquiring a skill, developed over time through trial and error. You need to devote time to practise this skill and accept that making mistakes is part of the process. Whilst a formal assessment may encourage students to work hard and learn, we encourage students to be lifelong learners who show initiative and are self-directed at all times. In this vein, I remind students to make use of the many resources available to them to support their learning in languages and to develop their skills outside the classroom. Students have a subscription to a number of useful websites such as Education Perfect, Yabla and Textivate. There are numerous other means of developing language skills including free websites Quizlet, Language Gym and Languages Online. Many students enjoy watching their favourite programs on streaming services, such as Netflix, in the language they are studying. For many programs, there is the option of adding subtitles in the target language. Every week, we continue the Native Speaker programme with Years 10, 11 and 12 where students are supported as they develop confidence speaking the language. In addition, a number of Speaking Skills days are organised for students of Year 12. Another valuable resource students have is their language teacher. Loreto students are fortunate to have committed teachers available to assist with their learning needs with many students spending time with teachers outside class developing their understanding and practising their skills.
This term, in Week 8, we look forward to a variety of events to compliment the learning of language and culture. We anticipate that Languages Week will be packed with much fun and cultural learning throughout the school. All Year 8 students will have the opportunity to prepare a dish during their cooking experience with Luca from Piatto Perfetto. The students of French will prepare both savoury and sweet crepes, the Italian students will make fresh pasta and the students of Mandarin will prepare San Choy Bow. All students are encouraged to make the most of all the great opportunities available to them and continue to strive to become proficient language learners.
Ms. Liana Trevisan