Learning a language is extremely important for global learners and at Tara, students have the opportunity to study French and Japanese in a variety of dynamic ways. Our exchange program is always a highlight and enables the girls to make life-long friends with people from France and Japan.
At Tara, students in the Senior School are offered an array of vibrant opportunities to explore the language and culture of France and the French-speaking world and Japan. Students’ language learning builds on and further develops their introduction to languages from the Junior School. Students participate in an amazing and fun range of activities when learning a language, from calligraphy, origami and restaurant experiences in Japanese, to language games, food and restaurant experiences in French.
We have sister schools in France and Japan and girls in Year 10 can participate in exchanges there each year. We also host students from both countries, so students from all years can interact with them in the language, learn about their culture and make life-long friends from around the world. Every two years, Japanese students can also participate in a Japanese tour and home-stay experience.
Learning a language is so important for 21st Century learners. The major rationale for learning languages is that communication proficiency gives learners essential skills in the target language, an intercultural capability and an understanding of the important role of language and communication in human communication. Learning a language broadens students’ horizons in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world and provides them with many personal, social and employment opportunities. People now realise that despite its status as a world language, a capability only in English is not sufficient, as it is the norm in most parts of the world to speak at least two languages.
We are strong believers of Nelson Mandela’s statement "If you speak to a man in a language he understands, you speak to his head. If you speak to him in his own language, you speak to his heart." While developing their linguistic skills, students also develop better cultural understanding and tolerance. Learning a language is also linked with intellectual enrichment, increased cognitive and literacy skills, and adaptability in a globalised and rapidly changing world.
As part of the MYP program, students will study both French and Japanese throughout Year 7. After that they choose which of these languages they will continue through to the end of Year 10. The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential to the concept of an international education that promotes multilingualism and intercultural understanding, both of which are central to the IB’s mission. We also offer French and Japanese Continuers courses in Years 11 and 12. Students can also elect to do Extension French or Japanese in Year 12. There are also opportunities for students to study other languages through Open High School or other flexible arrangements.
For more information about around the world opportunities visit the Tara Girl page.