At Applecross Senior High School, we offer French as a Second Language (FSL) and Japanese as a Second language (JSL). The languages team includes three specialist French teachers, two specialist Japanese teachers, two language assistants, and volunteer native speakers. Students study in specialised classrooms, and rich cultural exchanges are a regular part of the language courses.
In Years 7 and 8, students can choose either French or Japanese at the start of their enrolment. Towards the end of Year 8, students can elect to continue to study languages in Years 9 and 10, in preparation for further study of FSL or JSL as an elective in Senior School. In Years 11 and 12, FSL and JSL are offered as a course of study at an ATAR level. All Year 10 students who choose to continue their language study into Year 11 will be required to complete an application form for SCSA, and this is done through their language classes at school.
Some advantages of learning a second language like FSL or JSL manifest in improved communication, a better understanding of grammar in English, respect for others, listening skills, an ability to discuss and reason with others, improved logical thinking, general confidence, and the ability to adapt in new environments.
In addition, four WA Universities – UWA, Curtin, Murdoch and Edith Cowan – give a 10% bonus for students who gain a WACE score in a language. The 10% bonus applies to the student’s score for their language, whether or not the language is one of their four best subjects, and it does not matter which University course a student chooses.
As part of the Languages enrichment at AXSHS, we have a Native Speaker Tuition program. Students in Years 11 and 12 have the opportunity to practise and continually build on their speaking skills with native speakers once a week. In addition, there are specialised Language Assistants who work with both groups and individual students throughout the school year.
Prior to COVID-19, Applecross SHS regularly held exchange tours between France (Avion) and Japan (Takarazuka). During COVID-19, Japanese students have been able to participate in synchronous communicative activities with their counterparts in Takarazuka in Webex sessions. This will continue through 2022. Inter-level Webex sessions will commence in Week 3 of Term 1 between Year 11 and Year 8 students.
Once the Department of Education allows for the safe resumption of international tours, our Language Coordinators will re-open these rich and dynamic opportunities for our Senior School students.