Cultural Exchanges

Here at CBC we see second language learning as extremely beneficial to the development of our students as both life-long learners and young people of good character.

At Year 7, students study a semester of Japanese and Italian and continue with one of the languages for the full year in Year 8.

Connecting to the outside world makes learning relevant and our Italian and Japanese Study Tours provide our students with the opportunity to put into practice the language skills developed in the classroom, cultural enrichment, and friendships formed with our overseas school students.

On our Italian Study Tour we generally visit Rome, Orvieto, Florence, Siena, Bologna and Venice. Not only do we visit most of the major Italian cities, but the students also take part in a two day farm stay where they participate in traditional Italian cooking classes conducted in Italian. These tours are open to students from Years 10 and 11.

On our Japanese Study Tour, we visit Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo. Language lessons are also conducted for our students at our sister school. These tours are open to students from Years 9, 10 and 11.

Both tours include visits to significant cultural and historical sites. Our students are immersed in the languages and we ensure that these trips have a substantial educational focus. Structured Italian and Japanese classes are part of the itinerary on every study tour. Our students partake in Italian classes at an Italian language school in Florence, at our sister school in Bologna and Japanese classes are offered to our students at our brother school in Osaka.

CBC has sister schools in both Italy and Japan. Our students not only visit and study in these schools but also host students from these schools as they visit us yearly. Malpighi High School is the most prestigious private Catholic school in Bologna. Our six-day homestay program gives the students an opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to live as an Italian, attend school and take in all that Bologna has to offer. Taisei University High School has long been part of our Japanese Study Tour. It is one of the leading schools in Osaka. As is the case with the Italian tour, students take part in a homestay component, experiencing what is like to live as a Japanese person in a Japanese family.

Aims of our Cultural Exchange Progam

First and foremost, learning a language enables students to interact with others. They learn and practice how to organise their ideas, to select the appropriate words and tone, to look and listen to the response and to express their ideas and feelings. The communicative approach to teaching LOTE ensures that meaningful communication such as asking for, getting and giving directions is the focus of classroom learning. Teachers also use the target language as much as possible, to give students the maximum opportunity to hear the language used in everyday communication.

Better understanding of English

Learning a LOTE encourages and enables students to look more objectively at English as a system of language. As they begin to see the patterns and rules that operate in their LOTE, students look for patterns and rules in English grammar, spelling and usage. In LOTE classes students learn grammar concepts and terms such as tenses, subject-verb agreement, nouns, verbs and adjectives so that they can understand the system of language, whether it is the LOTE or English. Students become more confident about dealing with unfamiliar words and develop improved word awareness and word attack skills in both English and the LOTE as they practice applying spelling and grammar rules.

Seeing the world from a different point of view

Students use language as a tool to learn about the world and learning a second language is like up-grading and extending their collection of tools. Students are given opportunities to experience other areas of the curriculum such as reading, mathematics, health, science, society and environment and technology with a new set of language terms, and so improve or consolidate their understandings.

Learning about other cultures

Students learning a language other than English also learn about the culture embedded in that language. Different behaviours when greeting people, expressing gratitude and extending an invitation, for example, are integral to successful communication, as many business people will attest. Students who learn about another culture are more likely to value other ways of thinking and behaving and are developing their imagination, sensitivity and understanding.

Developing skills for the future

Learning a LOTE promotes effective learning across all subject areas by providing students with the skills to analyse and use language better. These literacy skills are a key to understanding any subject, and they develop no matter which language is studied. Students learn to experiment with different ways of thinking and expressing their thoughts, and they are more likely to try a variety of solutions when solving problems. In addition, the skills of learning a language other than English last a lifetime and can be applied to any other language children may decide to learn to help their career, to interact socially with family and friends, to facilitate travel or just for fun.

Enhanced career and vocational prospects

Businesses in any field associated with international trade, including tourism and import / export, require employees with knowledge of the languages and cultures of their customers.

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