Japanese K–10 Syllabus

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June 2003
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Published by

Board of Studies NSW

GPO Box 5300

Sydney NSW 2001


Tel: (02) 9367 8111

Fax: (02) 9367 8484

Internet: www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au
June 2003
ISBN 1 74099 676 3


1 Introduction 5

1.1 The K–10 Curriculum 5

1.2 Students with Special Education Needs 6

2 Rationale 8

3 The Place of the Japanese K–10 Syllabus in the Languages K–12 Curriculum 10

4 Aim 13

5 Objectives 14

6 Outcomes 15

7 Content 19

7.1 Organisation of Content 19

7.2 Content for Stage 1 (including Early Stage 1) 25

7.3 Content for Stage 2 29

7.4 Content for Stage 3 34

7.5 Content for Stage 4 38

7.6 Content for Stage 5 42

7.7 Content for Stage 5 Extension 46

7.8 Grammar 50

8 Life Skills Outcomes and Content 55

8.1 Outcomes 55

8.2 Content 56

9 Continuum of Learning in Japanese K–10 63

9.1 Stage Statements 63

10 Assessment 67

10.1 Standards 67

10.2 Assessment for Learning 67

10.3 Reporting 69

10.4 Choosing Assessment Strategies 70

11 Glossary 73

1 Introduction
1.1 The K–10 Curriculum
This syllabus has been developed within the parameters set by the Board of Studies NSW in its K–10 Curriculum Framework. This framework ensures that K–10 syllabuses and curriculum requirements are designed to provide educational opportunities that:

  • engage and challenge all students to maximise their individual talents and capabilities for lifelong learning

  • enable all students to develop positive self-concepts and their capacity to establish and maintain safe, healthy and rewarding lives

  • prepare all students for effective and responsible participation in their society, taking account of moral, ethical and spiritual considerations

  • encourage and enable all students to enjoy learning, and to be self-motivated, reflective, competent learners who will be able to take part in further study, work or training

  • promote a fair and just society that values diversity

  • promote continuity and coherence of learning, and facilitate the transition between primary and secondary schooling.

The framework also provides a set of broad learning outcomes that summarise the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes essential for all students to succeed in and beyond their schooling. These broad learning outcomes indicate that students will:

  • understand, develop and communicate ideas and information

  • access, analyse, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources

  • work collaboratively to achieve individual and collective goals

  • possess the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle

  • understand and appreciate the physical, biological and technological world and make responsible and informed decisions in relation to their world

  • understand and appreciate social, cultural, geographical and historical contexts, and participate as active and informed citizens

  • express themselves through creative activity and engage with the artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others

  • understand and apply a variety of analytical and creative techniques to solve problems

  • understand, interpret and apply concepts related to numerical and spatial patterns, structures and relationships

  • be productive, creative and confident in the use of technology and understand the impact of technology on society

  • understand the work environment and be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to evaluate potential career options and pathways

  • develop a system of personal values based on their understanding of moral, ethical and spiritual matters.

The ways in which learning in the Japanese K–10 Syllabus contributes to the curriculum and to the student’s achievement of the broad learning outcomes are outlined in the syllabus rationale.

In accordance with the K–10 Curriculum Framework, the Japanese K–10 Syllabus takes into account the diverse needs of all students. It identifies essential knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes. It enunciates clear standards of what students are expected to know and be able to do in K–10. It provides structures and processes by which teachers can provide continuity of study for all students, particularly to ensure successful transition through Years 5 to 8 and from Years 10 to 11.
The syllabus also assists students to maximise their achievement in Japanese through the acquisition of additional knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes. It contains advice to assist teachers to program learning for those students who have gone beyond achieving the outcomes through their study of the essential content.

1.2 Students with Special Education Needs
In the K–6 curriculum, students with special education needs are provided for in the following ways:

  • through the inclusion of outcomes and content in syllabuses which provide for the full range of students

  • through the development of additional advice and programming support for teachers to assist students to access the outcomes of the syllabus

  • through the development of specific support documents for students with special education needs

  • through teachers and parents planning together to ensure that syllabus outcomes and content reflect the learning needs and priorities of students.

Students with special education needs build on their achievements in K–6 as they progress through their secondary study and undertake courses to meet the requirements for the School Certificate.

It is necessary to continue focusing on the needs, interests and abilities of each student when planning a program for secondary schooling. The program will comprise the most appropriate combination of courses, outcomes and content available.
Life Skills

For most students with special education needs, the outcomes and content in sections 6 and 7 of this syllabus will be appropriate but for a small percentage of these students, particularly those with an intellectual disability, it may be determined that these outcomes and content are not appropriate. For these students the Life Skills outcomes and content in section 8 and the Life Skills assessment advice below can provide the basis for developing a relevant and meaningful program.

Access to Life Skills outcomes and content in Years 7–10

A decision to allow a student to access the Japanese Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content should include parents/carers and be based on careful consideration of the student’s competencies and learning needs.

The decision should establish that the outcomes and content in sections 6 and 7 of the Japanese K–10 Syllabus are not appropriate to meet the needs of the student. Consideration should be given to whether modifications to programs and to teaching, including adjustments to learning activities and assessment, would enable the student to access the syllabus outcomes and content.

As part of the decision to allow a student to access the Japanese Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content, it is important to identify relevant settings, strategies and resource requirements that will assist in the learning process. Clear time frames and strategies for monitoring progress, relevant to the age of the student, need to be identified and collaborative plans should be made for future needs.

It is not necessary to seek permission of the Office of the Board of Studies for students to undertake the Japanese Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content, nor is it necessary to submit planning documentation.
Life Skills assessment

Each student undertaking a Japanese Years 7–10 Life Skills course will have specified outcomes and content to be studied. The syllabus content listed for each outcome forms the basis of learning opportunities for students.

Assessment should provide opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement in relation to the outcomes and to generalise their knowledge, understanding and skills across a range of situations or environments including the school and the wider community.
Students may demonstrate achievement in relation to Japanese Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes independently or with support. The type of support will vary according to the particular needs of the student and the requirements of the activity. Examples of support may include:

  • the provision of extra time

  • physical and/or verbal assistance from others

  • the provision of technological aids.

2 Rationale

‘… achieving proficiency in other languages is one of the great learning experiences in the human condition … the compelling reasons for learning languages reside in the intellectual enrichment of the individual learner – a better understanding of the world, Australia’s place in it, and the many communities within Australia.’ (Australian Language and Literacy Council, 1996, Language Teachers: The Pivot of Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, p 3)

Moving between countries, cultures and languages has become more commonplace because of globalisation, increased ease of travel and advanced information and communication technologies. High quality education in languages enables students to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of their rapidly changing world.
The study of languages provides opportunities for students to become more accepting of diversity, more respectful of others and more aware of their place in the international community.
Contemporary research and practice have established a clear link between the learning of languages and improved literacy skills for both background speakers and second language learners. Even limited experience of the learning of languages is shown to increase metalinguistic awareness and enhance general cognitive development.
The process of teaching and learning languages focuses on linguistic systems and patterns. The need to move between linguistic systems assists students to develop enhanced mental dexterity.
The rich linguistic and cultural diversity of NSW, to which Japanese-speaking communities contribute significantly, provides an educational environment where the study of other languages and cultures is valued as a unique and integral part of the K–10 curriculum. The satisfaction of engaging with the study of Japanese and of developing communication skills in the language will contribute to a student’s intellectual enrichment.
The study of Japanese provides access to the language and culture of one of the global community’s most technologically advanced societies and economies. It also introduces students to an important part of the rich cultural tradition of East Asia. Through experience of the Japanese language system and cultural history, students gain valuable perspectives on art, music, customs, beliefs and the ways of thinking of Japanese people.
Japanese has been identified as one of the priority languages in the Asia-Pacific region to be taught in Australian schools. There are sister city agreements between the two governments, providing Australian students with opportunities to host Japanese students, and to visit and study in Japan.
Both Australia and Japan are members of the Asia Pacific Economic Community. Japan is one of Australia’s leading trading partners. It is therefore important for Australia’s long-term economic and social future that its relationship with Japan continues to be enhanced.

The study of Japanese provides students with opportunities for continued learning and for future employment, both domestically and internationally, in areas such as commerce, tourism, hospitality and international relations.

3 The Place of the Japanese K–10 Syllabus in the Languages
K–12 Curriculum

Pathways of Learning


At each stage languages teachers are often required to cater for a diverse range of learners, from those with little or no experience of the language to fluent background speakers. The identification of two pathways does not mean the provision of separate courses; rather, it is a broad acknowledgement of the many entry and exit points and language backgrounds that characterise languages education in New South Wales schools. The pathways provide a basis on which schools and teachers can design educational programs that reflect their particular circumstances.

An analysis of contemporary research and practice relevant to the teaching and learning of languages shows that the most effective delivery of languages courses is characterised by continuous, sequenced, high quality instruction. Systems, schools and teachers should consider the following factors when programming from this syllabus:

  • the relationship between primary (K–6) and secondary schools

  • the availability of appropriate teachers and resources

  • philosophical and practical support for languages within the whole school curriculum

  • consultation and ongoing relationships with the wider community

  • application of contemporary pedagogical approaches

  • identification of examples of best practice.

Parameters of the pathways

Two pathways are identified for students in K–10. Students in either pathway must achieve some or all of the Stage 4 outcomes to meet the mandatory School Certificate requirements in the Languages key learning area.

The pathways are based on the assumptions that:

  • students will benefit most from access to courses that are continuous, sequenced and of the highest quality

  • stages of learning are not necessarily connected to the age of students. The cumulative nature of language learning makes it essential for students to have achieved the outcomes described for earlier stages, before progressing to the next stage

  • multiple entry points cater for the learning needs of students as second language learners, as well as background speakers with varying degrees of ability in each macro skill area.

Pathway A

Pathway A reflects the learning that will take place for students who begin the study of a language in Early Stage 1–Stage 3 and continue that language through to Stages 4–5. It identifies a developmental sequence of learning that takes place as knowledge, understanding and skills in other areas of the K–10 curriculum are developed.

Students in this pathway bring knowledge and understanding of, and skills in, the language to their secondary studies which differentiate them from students who commence the study of the language in Pathway B. Through sustained experience of the language in Stages 1–5 students develop an understanding of the nature of the language and how to learn it with increasing independence.
Pathway B

Pathway B reflects the learning that will take place for students who have established many of the general learning strategies that are needed to ensure progress in the compulsory years of schooling. This pathway may be regarded as a more compact version of Pathway A and presumes 200–300 hours of study in the language in Stages 4-5. Schools and teachers should ensure that programming for students at this level takes account of any prior experience, including the study of languages other than the one being studied in this pathway. The outcomes described for Stages 1–3 should be regarded as the basis for the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in Japanese in subsequent stages. The professional judgement of teachers is crucial in determining the learning opportunities that should be provided in order to enable students to achieve outcomes described for later stages.

Pathway B is an opportunity to build language programs that encourage students to develop an interest in learning languages and that extend and refine the level of their knowledge and the skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing in Japanese.

  1. Aim

The aim of the Japanese K–10 Syllabus is to enable students to develop communication skills, focus on languages as systems and gain insights into the relationship between language and culture, leading to lifelong personal, educational and vocational benefits.

5 Objectives

Each objective describes the active commitment students will make to the acquisition of skills in communicating in Japanese and to the development of knowledge and understanding of the language and culture of Japanese-speaking communities. The effective delivery of Japanese will emphasise the equal significance and interdependence of all objectives. However, depending on the stage of learning, one or other of the objectives may be emphasised at any given time.

Objective – Using Language

Students will develop the knowledge, understanding and the listening, reading, speaking and writing skills necessary for effective interaction in Japanese.

Objective – Making Linguistic Connections

Students will explore the nature of languages as systems by making comparisons between Japanese and English, leading to an appreciation of the correct application of linguistic structures and vocabulary.

Objective – Moving Between Cultures

Students will develop knowledge of the culture of Japanese-speaking communities and an understanding of the interdependence of language and culture, thereby encouraging reflection on their own cultural heritage.

6 Outcomes
Stage 1 (including Early Stage 1)
The outcomes described for Stage 1 should be regarded as setting the basis for the further development of knowledge, understanding and skills in Japanese in subsequent stages.

Using Language

A student:

Listening and Responding


recognises and responds to words, phrases and simple sentences in spoken Japanese

Reading and Responding


identifies and responds to features of written Japanese



uses known words in Japanese to interact in everyday activities



demonstrates developing writing skills by recognising and copying Japanese

Making Linguistic Connections


recognises the diversity of language systems
explores ways in which meaning is conveyed in Japanese

Moving Between Cultures


demonstrates awareness of cultural diversity


identifies cultural practices in Japanese-speaking communities.

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