Languages 2015

The Language Team have had a busy year already engaging with our international community.

Welcome to our French Exchange Group

A big Aussie welcome to 3 staff members and 31 students from Lycee Joffre in Montpellier, the south of France. The group will be accompanied by their Principal, Mr Jean-Claude Narci; the Exchange Coordinator, Ms Brigitte Roth (a Teacher of English) and Mr Laurent Laval (Teacher of Science). The group will arrive on Saturday 7th February and stay here for 17 days until 24th February.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to many members of our College community and especially to the host families for opening their hearts and homes to our wonderful international friends.

The Teachers of French led by Mrs Carmelina Grassi and supported by Mrs Desa Lucas and Mrs Jennifer Leckey are busy making plans for this exchange to run smoothly and insure all participants are fully engaged.

Welcome home to the Japan Study Tour Group

During the Summer holidays a group of 17 students from Year 10 and Year 11 travelled through Japan on a Study Tour with Ms Glen James, Mr John Lawton and me. The Study Tour started in Kyoto for a week over New Year, then up to the mountains of Shiga Kogen in Nagano, before travelling to Tokyo, Hiroshima and then finally Kagoshima to attend school and stay with host families. This Study Tour was a great success due to the commitment of all the group members to rise to each of the challenges set by Sensei every day. The challenges were designed to ensure that all travellers used their Japanese to catch the local busses and trains, shop and eat in local supermarkets and restaurants and discover a variety of wonderful sights and places of historical importance and beauty. Of course, the greatest and most enjoyable challenge was staying with a host family and attending school each day for the last 10 days.

Highlights of the Study Tour included seeing snow monkeys have a hot spring bath; staying in a traditional Japanese guest house; catching the 'shinkansen'; climbing through 10,000 'torii' (gates) to enter a shrine; singing karaoke in Osaka; attending ski-school; having a Tea Ceremony in a traditional Kyoto home; praying for peace at the statue of Sadako in Hiroshima's Peace Park; catching up with our Japanese Assistants in Osaka; visiting Disney Sea and climbing the new Tokyo Sky Tree; sharing calligraphy lessons and wearing traditional Japanese kimono and yukata. There was something new to explore every moment!

A particularly heartfelt moment for the teachers was watching each of our Study Tour members meet their host families in Kagoshima. The younger members of many of the host families had made banners with our students' names on, welcoming them into the family. We were so touched by their care and generosity.

A big thank you to Ms Glen James and Mr John Lawton for their excellent support, friendship and leadership on the tour.

Ms Shane Glass

View Japanese Study Tour Image Gallery

Welcome home to the Italy Study Group

Between the exhilarating water-taxi ride from Marco Polo airport to the front 'door' of our hotel in Venice and a final glimpse of the snowy Italian Alps from Milan, the 21 Italian Study tourists experienced a variety of sights and sounds. We were blessed with wonderful weather - sunny skies and low teens for temperature, with rain only once in Pisa.

After three days exploring Venice, the tour headed south, stopping off briefly in Verona and Loreto and eventually arriving in Vasto after a long day. The Italian host families quickly whisked their new 'children' away and so the most rewarding part of the tour began. Our students attended school at the Liceo Scientifico - R.Mattioli and undertook a range of activities - both tailored just for us and also in combination with the locals. These included language lessons, pottery painting, a presentation comparing ancient and modern diets, a comparison between the biblical creation story and the Aboriginal dreamtime legends, a dance lesson, a computer class and many others. These were all presented in Italian and provided a realistic trial of our budding language skills!

There were many interesting points of difference between the Italian school and ours - the facilities, the student dress, the school day and the curriculum. The many opportunities to practise the Italian language were sometimes challenged by the desire by the local students to hone their English skills.

The much-anticipated ski trip was certainly the highlight of the week, followed closely by a day trip to Pompeii and Naples. By the end of the week, emotions ran high as the host families bid farewell to their Australian children as we set off on the remainder of the tour.

From Vasto, the journey continued to Rome, where we took in St. Peters Basilica, the Vatican Museum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the (under renovation) Trevi fountain and the Spanish Steps - and the odd spot of shopping! Perugia and the Baci factory tour - which included a chocolatiers' master class were next. Then on to Assisi and Siena, before descending on Florence.

Another special day was had when Dr Alan Pascuzzi - of John XXIII fresco fame - treated us to an expert's tour of Florence and its history. The afternoon saw the tourists turn artists as Alan presented a class in fresco-making. Despite the novelty of the art form, each tourist came away with a well-earned, real fresco to grace a wall at home.

Our next stop was a rainy visit to Pisa en route to Milan. From there we ventured to Sotto Il Monte - the birthplace of Saint Pope John XXIII. We were treated to a mass (during which we were introduced to the local congregation) and then a tour of the pilgrimage house and the final pilgrimage steps on the church grounds. The actual house where Angelo Roncalli spent his early years was the final highlight of a wonderful tour.

Special thanks go to Ms Melissa Polizzi for her meticulous organisation and agile leadership, to Ms Antoinette De Pinto for her surrogate mothering and to Mr John Joosten for his wit and navigational skills.

View Italian Study Tour Image Gallery