At Pembroke, the study of a language is part of the core curriculum from Year 1 – Year 8.
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.
Our language program commences in the Junior School with the study of Spanish from Year 1 to Year 6. Upon entry to the Middle School in Year 7, students may select two languages, each for a semester of study. The languages on offer are: Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Spanish. From 2022, at Year 7 only, we will also offer a semester elective in Kaurna, the Indigenous language of the Adelaide region. From Year 8, language programs are full-year courses and students are encouraged to continue their study of at least one or two language(s) other than English in Years 9 and 10 and beyond. Some Australian universities offer incentive schemes for students who satisfactorily complete Year 12 additional language studies (in either SACE or IB).
An additional language is a compulsory component of the IB Diploma Programme. Students can choose to continue one of the languages taught through the Middle School or start a new ab initio (beginner) course. The ab initio courses currently offered are Indonesian and Spanish.
Mandarin Chinese may be studied in the Middle Years at three different levels. The Second Language pathway is for those who are new to Chinese language. The Background Language pathway is for students who have exposure to Chinese language at home. And the First Language pathway is for those who have studied in schools where Chinese as a language of instruction. In Years 11 and 12 Pembroke offers a Chinese literature course for First Language pathway students. (Chinese A: Language and Literature) This course is distinct from our language acquisition courses (IBD Chinese B at Higher Level or Standard Level and SACE Chinese at Background or Continuers levels).
In our programs, 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 exciting 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 and lifelong engagement with language and culture.