STUDENTS from four Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA) schools participated in the WA Languages Week this month.
The Modern Language Teacher’s Association of WA (MLTAWA) partnered with the State Government for the August awareness raising strategy to value the rich language diversity in West Australian society and to acknowledge and celebrate the learning and teaching of a language other than English.
Students from SCEA schools – Beechboro Christian School, Kalamunda Christian School, Mundaring Christian School, and Swan Christian College – gave several performances over three nights.
Year 8 student Byron Howard of Swan Christian College and Year 6 student Isla Howard of Kalamunda Christian School both won awards in their year group for submitting a video of themselves conversing in Finnish, for the Side-By-Side competition.
MLTAWA president Kate Reitzenstein said the ability to communicate in another language was a critical 21st century skill.
“Holding a conversation in another language can be challenging but can be incredibly rewarding as it allows you to connect to the wider world,” she said.
East Metropolitan MLC Donna Faragher said the study of languages and the ability to communicate across cultures was an increasingly powerful tool.
“It might expand opportunities in places they never thought possible,” she said.
“Language learning helps develop essential literacy and language skills, encourages creativity, and enhances brain function and problem solving.”
Ms Faragher said there were more than 270 languages spoken in WA and it was important to encourage languages in schools.
Beechboro Christian School had Year 2 and Year 4 students sing in Afrikaans, and Mundaring Christian School had a Year 8 student perform Pokarekare Ana in Maori.
Kalamunda Christian School had two Year 6 students perform a clapping song in Japanese, and another Year 6 student performed Il Mi Faro in Italian.
Swan Christian College had two Year 5 students perform on the night, one singing Edelweiss in German, and the other I Know Who Holds Tomorrow in Burmese.