In the world of the 21st Century, it is increasingly acknowledged that a complete education includes the study of at least one foreign language. Proficiency in another language brings significant cultural and intellectual benefits as well as enabling young people to participate more effectively in the global community. Students acquire transferable cognitive, social and learning skills and an understanding of grammatical concepts which enhances their literacy in English.
At Pembroke School the study of a language is part of the core curriculum from Years 2-8.
Our foreign language programme commences in the Junior School with the study of Spanish from Year 2 to Year 6. Upon entry to the Middle School, in Year 7, students have the opportunity to select two languages, each for a semester of study. The languages on offer are: Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Spanish. From Year 8, language programmes are full-year courses.
Students are actively encouraged to continue their study of at least one foreign language in Years 9 and 10 and beyond. Some Australian universities value foreign language study and offer incentive schemes for students who satisfactorily complete Year 12 Additional Language Studies.
A foreign language is a compulsory component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD). Students can choose to continue one of the languages taught in the Middle School, or study an ab initio course, a beginners' course which specifically caters for those who have not continued with a foreign language after Year 8 or Year 9. The current ab initio course is Indonesian.
In our programmes, language and cultural studies are integrated and presented in contexts of everyday life. Emphasis is placed on comprehension and purposeful communication and topics are selected for their relevance to the experience of our students. Students have access to a variety of authentic communicative resources in their chosen language. They can also take part in a range of student exchanges and language study tours.
With practice and continuity of study, students who complete Middle and Senior School courses develop a useful degree of fluency and achieve a level of competence which is attractive to employers and a very sound basis for further study.