Language

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St Michael's teach the Australian Curriculum content and assess to the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards.

We need to develop students’ appreciation of language, their awareness of the nature of language, of the many influences on language, and of the variety in and between language. Students should recognize the transdisciplinary nature of language—they use language within and across the disciplines and in a way that transcends them, both inside and outside the classroom. They should be encouraged to recognize that competency in language—and in more than one language—is a valuable life skill, a powerful tool both in societal communication and as a means of personal reflection. Furthermore, learning that language and literature is a creative process encourages the development of imagination and creativity through self-expression.

What do we want students to know?

Metalanguage: (using language to learn about language)
Using language both as an instrument for thought and social interaction, and for understanding about the nature of language itself.

 
  • The diversity of functions of language
  • Circumstantial effects/changes (style, audience, purpose)
  • Variety in and between languages and dialects
  • Historical, geographical and societal influences on language
  • Language as a power in society
  • Language as a means of reflection
  • Language as a valuable life skill
  • Language as a system of communication
 

Transdisciplinary language: (learning through language)
The language of other disciplines:

 
  • Language of the arts
  • Language of mathematics
  • Language of science
  • Language of social studies
  • Language of personal, social and physical well-being
  • Language of technology
 


Literature: (language as an art)
The body of written works of a language, period or culture considered language as an art worthy of aesthetic merit.

 
  • Variety in literary forms, structure, elements and purposes
  • The importance of literature as a way of understanding
    ourselves and others
  • Differences and similarities in literature (structure, purpose, cultural influence)
  •  Literature as a power to influence and structure thinking.
 

It is recognized that for students to participate fully in their language learning, they need to be empowered to comprehend language through listening, reading and viewing, and to express themselves with increasing confidence through speaking, writing and presenting. As part of their overall language acquisition, students need to develop both proficiency and enjoyment in these areas of communication. At St Michael’s Lutheran School language is organised into three main strands: oral communication, written communication and visual communication.
These communication strands are then organized into the sub-strands of listening and speaking, reading and writing, viewing and presenting. Each of the sub-strands is addressed separately, although in practice they are interactive and interrelated elements of language. There are many related concepts that could provide further links to the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry or further understanding of language. Related concepts, such as voice, pattern and audience, have been embedded into the descriptions for each of the strands.


Language strands:
Oral communication: listening and speaking
Oral communication enables students to construct meaning through the process of articulating thoughts in a variety of ways. Oral communication encompasses all aspects of listening and speaking: skills that are essential for language development, for learning and for relating to others. In the area of oral communication, students will learn to:

 
  • listen and respond to a range of texts, and to the ideas and opinions of others
  • improve fluency and accuracy when speaking
  • ask and answer questions; relate and retell; persuade; talk about needs, feelings, ideas or opinions; contribute to discussions in a range of formal and informal situations
  • recognize that oral language needs to be appropriate to the audience and to the purpose 
  • communicate orally in more than one language.
 

Written communication: reading and writing
Reading is constructing meaning from text by making inferences and interpretations. The process of reading is interactive and involves the reader’s purpose for reading, the reader’s prior knowledge and experience, and the text itself. Writing allows us to develop, organize and communicate thoughts, ideas and information in a visible or tangible way. In the area of written communication, students will learn to:

 
  • read and write for enjoyment, instruction and information
  • recognize and appreciate the variety of literary styles, genres and structures; poetry, plays and stories; creative, informative, instructional, persuasive and reflective text
  • understand and apply a variety of structures, strategies and literary techniques (spelling, grammar, prediction, plot, character, punctuation, voice).
 

Visual communication: viewing and presenting
Viewing and presenting means interpreting or constructing visuals and multimedia in a variety of situations and for a range of purposes and audiences. They allow students to understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values and beliefs. Visual images immediately engage viewers, allowing them instant access to data. Learning to interpret this data and to understand and use different media are invaluable skills. In the area of visual communication, students will learn to:

 
  • understand, critically analyse and communicate information and ideas through a variety of visual media
  • make informed choices in their personal viewing experiences
  • use appropriate technology for effective presentation and representation.

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