Japanese at Belgrave South Primary School is taught using an approach called ‘Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling’ (TPRS), a well-researched approach to teaching language that establishes meaning and enables basic comprehension. Language is then retained through actions, repetition, focusing in core language, and reading. Students are exposed to a wide variety of Japanese in the earlier years (books, videos, scripts, songs, etc) and then encouraged to use their language to read, speak and write.
Grade 2 – Fruit Juice Bar
This term we are learning about fruit and making our very own ‘Juusu Baa / Juice Bar’! We use repetition to become familiar with common set phrases such as ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I like apples’, ‘Here you are’, ‘yummy’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and include these in a joint performance. Students reflect on similarities between English and Japanese, including formal and informal language, recognising that some words are borrowed from English (banana / banana, orenji / orange, pikuniku / picnic, aisukurimu / ice-cream). We will begin to be introduced to the three Japanese writing systems and have a go at using Kanji, hiragana and katakana.
Grades 3 and 4 – Food and eating etiquette
Students dive into the culinary delights of Japan! We look at traditional foods, create our own Japanese dishes, and will explore how these foods and customs differ compared to Australian customs. We also learn about the language to say before, during and after meals, and describing a meal. Student have the opportunity to practice the language around food, how to count food, and will even have a go at ordering from our class restaurant – in Japanese!
Grades 5 and 6 – Where in Japan?
During this unit students learn about the geography of Japan. Our focus is the phrase ‘Kyou wa doko ni ikimasuka?’ (Where are we going today?), some verbs, and using the days of the week in a sentence as we explore Japan. Students explore several Japanese cities, the demographics and cultural significance of each before choosing a city to research as part of a project. Students are required to use each of the three Japanese writing systems (katakana, hiragana and kanji) in their project, building on the new Kanji character focus each week.