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  • Who has the Harry Potter game? Definitely not me.

  • Why not? Because my mum, and iPad games

  • Pearl, do you want to come to my place? You can try it. No.

  • John Webster is my name. I'm the principal

  • at Wellers Hill State School. We've commenced the bilingual program at

  • Wellers Hill in 2014 after a year of intensive research.

  • My name is Sarah Prescott and I'm a parent of Eliza.

  • And she has been in the bilingual program since 2014.

  • When I speak Japanese I think it's easy. But, when I'm learning new words it's

  • a bit difficult - but once I've got those words, it's easy.

  • All the research indicates that children who are bilingual have better prospects in life,

  • have better health outcomesThere are various advantages for native bilingualism.

  • But I … Universal Studios Japan, Hogwarts and the Hogwarts ride

  • Because my eyesYou didn't go!

  • I did. But, if you do this with your eyes

  • I had my eyesJust like this

  • People who are native bilinguals, they actually get their dementia 4.5 years later than if

  • they were monolinguals. When you're natively bilingual, and let's

  • say there is a construction noise while you are giving a lecture, you are more likely

  • to be able to concentrate on your point. So this has to do with auditory concentration.

  • Next, does anybody remember what we get when we add a circle to the 'hi' character?

  • If you are natively bilingual, if you speak two languages as your mother tongues, you

  • are actually more clever than yourself as a monolingual.

  • Over 90 per cent of these children have never experienced Japanese before year one.

  • What kind of fruit do you like Riley? Kiwifruit.

  • So, say, "I like kiwifruit." I like kiwifruit.

  • I'm Kristina and I've got two kids at Wellers Hill doing the bilingual program.

  • My oldest daughter Natalie was in the first year that the program started and it was terrifying

  • - it was exciting. But it was also terrifying when it first started

  • because we had no idea, really, what to expect. My name's Courtney Czechowski.

  • I'm a parent at Wellers Hill State School. I certainly know for my daughter, at about

  • this time last year when she started, she made the comment that she really liked Japanese

  • but it was probably better that she went to a school where they spoke English.

  • So it's great to see a year on that that's her favourite subject and she's just passionate

  • about speaking Japanese and learning Japanese and practicing.

  • The class has two teachers - a Japanese teacher and an English teacher.

  • They alternate every half a day. I have an English partner teacher.

  • So she's the one teaching all Australian curriculum in English.

  • And I'm teaching Japanese literacy, maths, science and geography in Japanese.

  • There are some words that have been introduced in English, but we can't directly translate

  • that into Japanese because it's not an age-appropriate word in Japanese.

  • So we have to reword into the similar range of words in Japanese and that's the challenge

  • that we have every term. The unique things we're finding are that

  • the way that Japanese mathematics is taught is really enhancing the way we're now teaching

  • mathematics on the English side of the program as well.

  • The soroban is the word for abacus in Japanese. In my class we use soroban a lot.

  • That helps to develop their abstract thinking. Starting afresh: six yen, one yen, eight yen,

  • four yen, six yen, two yen, two yen, nine yen and nine yen makes?

  • Was the last one nine? Yes, Eliza?

  • It's forty-seven yen. So they can say, for example, 565 divided

  • by five. They can do that in five seconds.

  • It's about a year-and-a-half into the program, probably at that time point, I think I was

  • just standing by lining up with the kids for the class for the morning and Eliza started

  • to talk Japanese to her teachers. And I went, “wow, that's unbelievable,”

  • because, in contrast to my experience as a language learner, I'd never gotten to the

  • point where I'd been conversationally fluent in Japanese.

  • When you walk around the school now you can see pockets, and hear pockets, of students

  • speaking Japanese and students speaking in English.

  • If the kids approach one of their Japanese teachers they will convert directly back to

  • Japanese and speak to them. And then if I'm walking past they'll switch

  • straight back to English. My name is Kanon.

  • I'm doing a homestay at Eliza's house. Your turn.

  • That was fast. Stormrider is my favourite ride.

  • What's that? Water? Yes, the one with water - it's high.

  • So we went to Japan for two weeks, which was essentially a visit to different cities and

  • then the kids were able to go on a three-day homestay.

  • My homestay was a lot of fun because we played a lot of interesting games.

  • Natalie had the opportunity to do a homestay when she was in Japan and she had this amazing

  • time with her family who really welcomed her into their home - but she got this snapshot

  • into their life. And she got to bathe in a traditional Japanese

  • house, she slept on a futon in a shared bedroom, she sat around the table on the tatami [straw

  • matting] eating the meal with the family. And, for her, she just came back speaking

  • about it like it was this amazing experience. My homestay family had a father, a mother,

  • an older brother, an older sister, a younger brother.

  • I ate a lot of curry and rice balls during my homestay.

  • I've done lots of different things, but this is the most amazing thing I've ever

  • introduced in a school. Because you can see the joy that the children

  • are getting out of the program, the joy that the parents are getting out of the program,

  • the positive impact that teaching Japanese in a bilingual fashion has had on our English

  • study component - which is amazing. But I think, certainly, understanding another

  • culture and another country is something that's really nice to see happening so early.

  • So, embedded within the curriculum for the children are these cultural experiences, which

  • I think has such great value in terms of our global environment today.

  • And I just think that that has been so valuable for the children .

  • I think that will really help them for the rest of their lives.

  • The bilingual program at Wellers Hill will change the lives of these children for the

  • better till they retire and beyond. It's an amazing thing.

  • I probably won't work in Japan, but I'll go to Japan a lot.

  • If you can do half of your school year in grade one and beyond in another language,

  • you can do anything.

Who has the Harry Potter game? Definitely not me.

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A2 AU japanese yen bilingual program eliza hill

The Australian school teaching in Japanese

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    Yukiko posted on 2018/09/14
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