Language Studies Programs

Bright P12 college offers three language programs including German, Japanese and Indigenous Studies. Each of these programs offers outstanding opportunities for students to greatly enhance their skills and knowledge through participation in a mix of both ‘out of classroom’ activities and excursions. These include overseas excursions to Germany and Japan, student exchange programs and scholarships, and interstate excursions for students involved in Indigenous Studies to the Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Wadeye.

Why learn another language?Learning another language fosters a student’s ability to think and reflect about the workings of language, and to develop mental flexibility and problem solving strategies.  Language and intercultural skills allows ready global communication.

Why learn Japanese?

Learning Japanese is an investment in your future.  Bright P-12 College provides a strong, innovative Japanese program from Prep to Year 12.  Our College has a sister relationship with a school and university in Japan.  This provides students with real life opportunities to use the language beyond the classroom and experience the ‘real’ Japan by being involved in home stay programs.

Knowledge of Japanese may lead to greater employment opportunities in the area of banking, business, education, finance, hospitality, retail and tourism.

The Japanese snowfields are becoming a very popular tourist and work destination for young Australians.

Many Japanese cultural traditions such as Sumo, Sushi, Origami and bonsai have become household words in Australia.  Thousands of Australians also practise or take an interest in Japanese sport such as Karate, Kendo, Aikido, and Judo which have helped to bring about a an understanding of Japanese such as Sensei, customs such as bowing.

Japan is Australia’s main trading partner. Each year many people come from Japan to Australia to study, travel and do business. More and more Australians go to Japan to undertake similar pursuits.

Gamagori Exchange Program
This is a biannual program that will next take place in October and November 2014. Gamagori is a small city of around 80,000 people, located on the coast near the city of Nagoya, on the island of Honshu. Students from Gamagori will visit Bright in during October for one week. Students from Bright will visit Gamagori in November. This homestay program provides participants with a special insight into Japanese society through the experience of Japanese family and school life. Students are hosted by families for one week and spend time in school. This program also includes one week’s travel to the cities of Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo.

An information evening will take place early 2014.

Why learn German?

German has been taught continuously at Bright P-12 College for over 30 years.  The College has a long established program of student exchange with our sister school, the Wirtschaftschule Alpenland, Bad Aibling at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.

One program involves a short term (4 week) trip to Germany once every two years.  This exchange also provides an opportunity to visit the German capital city of Berlin and experience one of the most eclectic, cosmopolitan and popular cities in Europe.

The second program is a scholarship exchange program that enables two students to live with a German family in Bad Aibling or the surrounding area and to study for 10 -12 weeks at the Wirtschaftschule Alpenland, with their host brother or sister. Bright P-12 College provides a scholarship of $2500 for the successful applicants.

Both of these exchanges provide an exceptional opportunity for students to immerse themselves into the diverse German culture and history.  Many former students have made lifelong friendships with their host siblings and families. And we have had many return visits by exchange partners in both directions.

The German language as English is derived from Latin and as such both languages have many similarities (think “Schule = School”; “Montag = Monday”; “Uniform = Uniform”), therefore making it a relatively easy language to learn. Many German words are commonly used in an English context such as, Kindergarten which is the same in both languages.

Germany has the most successful economy in Europe, with countless companies based in Australia and elsewhere providing opportunities for people with German language skills.

German is spoken in different areas of Europe including Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Germans have a long history of settlement in Australia, including pre-war migration, particularly the areas around the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Even at a local level, there was pre-war migration to the Ovens Valley for the purpose of gold prospecting.  These German migrants have left the mark in the names of places such as Germantown, Freeburgh, and German Creek.

Why learn Indigenous Languages?

Bright P-12 College has offered Indigenous Studies as a full year subject in Year 9 since 2010 and commenced teaching VCE Units 1 and 2 Indigenous Languages of Victoria (Revival and Reclamation) in 2012. From 2013, the College is offering VCE Units 3 and 4 Indigenous Languages of Victoria (Revival and Reclamation) and Indigenous Languages in Years 9 and 10.

The school has negotiated with the Dhudhuroa custodians of the Bright area and the elders of the Murrinh-patha language group in Wadeye to allow both languages and culture to be taught to the students.

Since 2008, Bright P-12 College has developed a unique relationship with the Wadeye community, with boys from the community attending the College and students in Years 9 and 11 from Bright spending time in the Wadeye community.

ACARA, in developing the Australian Curriculum, is committed to ensuring that its curriculum work acknowledges the need for all Australian children to “understand and acknowledge the value of Indigenous cultures and possess the knowledge, skills and understanding to contribute to, and benefit from, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians”. (Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.)

This echos the words of Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Given that there is a strong focus by ACARA towards Indigenous studies and language reclamation, Bright P-12 College finds itself in a unique position, with protocols already in place and relationships established. We have an opportunity to be at the forefront of Indigenous Language and Cultural studies in Victoria.