International Studies

Global trade, cultural, tourism and technological connections will require today’s students to operate in a range of languages and cultural spheres, and to value the associated economic, human and cognitive impacts of each.

At Girls Grammar, language learners develop communication skills that enhance their capacity for problem solving and divergent thinking, and learn to appreciate and empathise with varying viewpoints.

Yr 7 Yr 8 Yr 9 Yr 10 Yr 11 Yr 12
Chinese
French
German
Japanese
Latin

At Girls Grammar, we value direct teaching, interaction, guided practice and communicative competence in a range of real-world contexts. Listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing ability, and understanding culture and perspectives, equips learners to immerse themselves in authentic texts and contribute to group communication activities. A range of contemporary print, online and media resources support Language learning in the classroom.

Students of modern languages aim for proficiency in listening, reading, writing and speaking. Our courses also highlight the history, literary traditions and cultural contribution of the people who speak, or spoke, these languages.

Chinese

Chinese Mandarin is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and competency in speaking the language is an important skill for the future. Students at Brisbane Girls Grammar School learn about ancient Chinese wisdom integrated within a dynamic modern language program.

Beginning in Year 7, Chinese lessons introduce students to the fundamentals of the language through culture, storytelling and creation. Students learn about pronunciation, tones and sounds, and are introduced to basic characters.

During Years 8 and 9, students further emphasise communication in speaking and writing. In the senior years, students analyse and exchange information in Chinese on a range of current topics and texts—from lifestyle and leisure to current affairs within China and Chinese-speaking communities.

Chinese classes are interactive, and through language excursions and small group sessions with the Chinese Language Assistant, students have many opportunities to express themselves in Mandarin. Students also have the opportunity to participate in optional Study Tours to China.

French

The French curriculum is designed to equip students with linguistic competence and lifelong language acquisition skills. Additionally, it enhances girls’ intercultural understanding by exploring a language used in over 50 countries.

In junior French, students learn language fundamentals around family, schooling, food, leisure, travel, and lifestyle themes. Classes are interactive and focus on engaging activities in French.

As the girls progress, grammatical structures are reinforced, vocabulary extended, and communication encouraged through class discussions and in small groups with the French Language Assistant.

Senior French allows students to develop further autonomy with the language and gain  understanding, reasoning and intercultural competence. The study of authentic texts and cultural activities improves students’ proficiency and deepens their understanding of French cultures. We also offer immersion activities and an optional French Study Tour.

German

Learning German at Brisbane Girls Grammar School is not only fun and engaging, but also broadens the girls’ minds and increases their career prospects.

In Year 7, students learn and respond to questions about themselves and their family life. Through games, songs and interactive activities, students very quickly discover the many intersections of German and English language and culture.

In Years 8 and 9, topics such as shopping, giving directions, hobbies and travel, are introduced. The girls focus on learning correct grammatical sentence structure and spelling and also identify the similarities and differences between life in Australia and Germany.

During Years 10 to 12, the girls explore topics relevant to young people, such as travel, school, and the future. To support their learning and communication skills, students interact regularly in small groups with a native German Language Assistant, and may choose to participate in an optional Study Tour to Germany.

Japanese

As Japan is one of Australia’s closest neighbours and trading partners, the decision to study Japanese is a popular one among students.

In Year 7, students learn the first of three character-based alphabets through a competitive and fun Hiragana Karate Belt system, which teaches basic sentence patterns while introducing Japan’s unique culture.

During Years 8 and 9, students focus on developing their verbal and written communication skills. By Year 10, students read, listen to, and express their opinions on a variety of topics, including family structure, education, travel and societal roles and responsibilities.

Japanese classes are interactive and encourage communication via many group-based activities. Students develop skills that will not only assist them in Japan, but also as citizens of the twenty-first century. Highlights for most students include interacting with a native Japanese Language Assistant, visits from our Affiliate School students, and the opportunity to participate in the biennual Japan Study Tour.

Latin

Latin at Brisbane Girls Grammar School equips students with a unique set of perspectives and cognitive skills for the modern world, founded upon the rich legacy of Classical Rome.

Students in Years 7 to 9 gain the linguistic skills necessary for an understanding of elementary Latin, and an appreciation for Rome’s influence on contemporary language, ideas and society.

Year 10 and 11 students work with texts by significant Classical authors, learning to think critically and to communicate about literature. This learning culminates in Year 12, with an in-depth study of Vergil and Cicero, whose writings continue to have a profound impact upon many aspects of modern society.

During their studies, students enjoy a number of cultural experiences, including preparing and tasting authentic Roman cuisine, handling replica clothing and weapons, and investigating genuine artefacts. Students can also participate in a biannual study tour of significant Roman sites in Italy and Britain.

‘Language proficiency and communication are essential to our girls’ education and to their effective participation in the global arena. By committing to learning a language, the girls are learning not just the languages they will need to be economically ‘globile’, but qualities of discipline and determination that will enrich them far more profoundly as people.’

Ms Susan Garson, Director of International Studies

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