Language and Culture


It is my ambition to show students that learning French is an exciting journey and that French is already accessible to them outside the classroom. In Term 1 we celebrated Francophonie Day, which is a day focused on appreciating the French language around the world. To mark this day, Kellie came to the College and set up a lovely French-style stall where she made crepes all day for our students. Students ordered in French and could see the skill involved in getting the crepes cooked the right way. Everyone thought their crepe was delicious !

The Year 9s had a Cirque du Soleil-inspired circus workshop where they learnt some vocabulary and expressions related to the circus. While learning new expressions, they also participated in some practical activities which made it a very active workshop. The Year 11s & 12s on the other hand participated in an Improvisation in French theatre workshop organised by the French Loop. This workshop emphasised the importance of supporting each other, accepting and learning from your mistakes, and overall helped the students step out of their comfort zone into a more ‘daring’ state of mind. At the end of Term 1 those students also went to a screening of Le Petit Nicolas, which was a session from the annual French Film Festival. This is an adaptation from a book we had discussed in class, so the students were interested in seeing an adventure from the famous French character.

Currently, many of our students are preparing for competitions such as the Francophonie competition and the Berthe Mouchette competition. Their efforts have been really impressive and we are looking forward to great results. Inside the classroom, students are challenged to learn in creative ways. Year 7s have been reflecting on the use of Google Translate. After watching a ‘Google Translate Sings’ video, Gemma said: “I think the message was that google translate isn't always accurate, and is often mixed up and wrong when translating. It is teaching us to not always rely on google and being able to translate because it is not right a lot of the time and that we need to figure out and learn the words without google.”

As we are currently learning about noun gender in French, we also watched a TED talk on how the language you speak can shape your perception of the world. Isabella commented: "In a way, I can agree that speaking another language is like having another soul. It can change the way you see things and how you perceive the world. With another language, it has a different vocabulary and structure compared to another language. So describing something in another language is completely different to another language."

Year 9 students have been analysing language in French songs and will be teaching each other some grammar, which is a way for them to take responsibility and ownership for their learning.

Students learning Japanese at St Aloysius College also have opportunities to participate in external competitions throughout the year. At the end of last year, number of Japanese students across all year levels participated in the JLTAV Calligraphy Competition where they wrote designated kanji characters and were judged on the balance and shape of these characters. The winners were announced this year and we have been fortunate to receive 3 award recipients for the secondary brush division: Katelyn Vien (1st place), Alex Del Mastro (2nd place) and Aurelia Raimondo (3rd place). We hope to continue to see more Japanese students embrace these opportunities and extend their learning.

Alizée Bourgault, Year 11 Leader and French Teacher