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What will students be learning in Japanese this year?

We follow the Pearson Examination Board syllabus. There are five broad themes, each of which is further subdivided as follows.        

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

Theme 2: Local Area, Holidays and Travel

Theme 3: Schools

Theme 4: Future Aspirations, Study and Work

Theme 5: International and Global Dimensions.

We integrate and develop all the languages learnt in Year 8 and Year 9. They are also encouraged to study online, e.g. through Quizlet, to strengthen their acquisition of Kanji and vocabulary.

Expectations of students in Japanese

Lessons continue to be given in weekly one-hour lessons after school and 45-minute lessons during the lunch break. Students are also given weekly homework. Homework includes reading and writing, vocabulary and grammar exercises, grammar practice and writing, particularly in writing, which is more positively assessed than at the beginning of Year 10 and is graded by a mark scheme. Students need to find challenges in order to achieve maximum results. It is also important that students realise that learning homework is important, as steadily increasing their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge is crucial to their success as language learners. Weekly Kanji tests are therefore essential.

What are the major assessments this year?

There are formal graded assessments approximately every term, with Year 10 students taking a grammar review test every 3-4 weeks and a weekly Kanji test. In addition, students are given a test at the end of each term, which includes an essay.  Ongoing vocabulary and grammar tests assess the extent to which students have absorbed the new language and add to the decision-making process in areas of weakness. End-of-year exams are also submitted from past papers and should show an overall assessment at the end of Year 10, so that students know where they are at present.

Year 11 students take mock exams in November and February. These exam questions are followed by speaking exams as well, but the assigned speeches are prepared for the real thing by preparing them early on. Students also have a support lesson once a week during break time, which mainly focuses on individual speaking practice.

What will the current performance grade be based on and what does it mean?

Current performance grades will reflect the current GCSE grades and will range from 9-1.  The target minimum grade for each student will be determined at the start of the autumn term. Pupils will be given the opportunity each term to review their progress in consultation with their teachers and set personal targets.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

It is important to let teachers know promptly of any concerns so that support and advice can be offered before students fall behind. However, advice and accompanying action should already have been taken by the teacher before this happens. It is imperative that students are in constant and close communication. It is also necessary to repeat the review of Unit 3 and Unit 4 as they are distributed at the beginning of Year 10.

How can I support my daughter in Year 10?

It is by no means essential to know any Japanese in order to support your daughter effectively. Simply by taking an interest, asking her to show you her work and explain it, and motivating her, you can make an enormous difference to how she feels about the subject. You can also encourage her to do her best in her GCSE. Please support your daughter’s efforts to use her own language in her written and oral work rather than relying on Google translate. Electronic translation tools often give strange translations and lead to errors which effective use of a good dictionary (on-line or paper) can avoid. 

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

I To support your daughter effectively, it is important to share your knowledge of Japanese. Simply motivating your daughter by taking an interest, showing her your work and asking her to explain it to you can make a big difference to her feelings about the Japanese language. Sharing Japan-related facilities, music and films is also encouraged. It will be important to maintain close contact not only between students and teachers, but also between parents and teachers. Also, part of the homework includes writing essays. Support your daughter to write and speak in her own language and not rely on Google Translate as much as possible. It can be used effectively, but she will do exponentially better if she is not afraid to make mistakes and uses what she has learnt to the best of her ability.

This is because mere copying of translations is not in line with GCSE guidelines and tends to make them more difficult. 

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Ms Bongout has oversight of the twilight language courses and will be pleased to follow up any queries: 

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