Schools in Brisbane with Language Immersion Programs
It is an undisputed fact that there are incredible benefits to learning a second language in your early (or even later) years of life. For this reason, all schools in Australia have a second language built into their curriculum for students to learn, with a variety of different languages offered across the country. But did you know that there are many schools in Brisbane that go one step further and offer language immersion programs? Rather than a lesson or two a week, students at these schools who partake in the immersion program advance their language skills by completing 50–60% of the curriculum in a language other than English.
Benefits of Learning a Second Language
There have been many studies conducted over the years on the effects and advantages of children learning a second language. The results have proven that children who do so gain in many areas such as;
- Socially – learning a second language helps to broaden a child’s view and understanding of the world and the different cultures and people who inhabit it outside of their own country.
- Academically – there is a clear link between learning another language and literacy development in English, therefore learning another language enhances their literacy skills. Studies also show that the benefits of learning a new language included higher scores on standardized exams in math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary by multilingual students compared to the scores of monolingual students.
- It helps to improve their analytical and problem-solving skills as well as increases a child’s self-confidence, self-esteem, resilience and tolerance levels.
- Studies have consistently shown that speaking more than one language can help delay the effects of dementia and Alzheimers as well as improve your memory skills.
- Career opportunities and the ability to work and travel abroad are greatly enhanced if a person can speak more than one language fluently.
Schools in Brisbane who offer language immersion programs
There are many schools who offer immersion programs to students. Students usually need to apply and be selected to partake in the programs which are usually offered to above-average students who the school believed will be capable of and able to to handle the more difficult workload. Below is a list of the schools in Brisbane who offer a language immersion program as well as information on which language they offer and how and when your child can commence the program.
Benowa State High School – French Immersion
Benowa pioneered French Immersion in Queensland and has been acclaimed nationally and internationally as the most successful model in extension studies and language education. For the past four years Benowa students have won the Language Perfect World Championships title, an international competition involving thousands of students studying in dozens of countries. On completion, students will have gained a high level of proficiency in French that will enable them to sit the Diplome d’Etudes en Langue Francaise, if this is their ambition. This qualification is an internationally recognised French Proficiency exam and is required to allow students entry into offshore universities.
The selection criterion for students is based upon their academic performance in Year 6, NAPLAN and an academic entrance exam. A recommendation report from their Primary School teacher may also be used in order to evaluate the qualities needed to be successful in the Academic French Immersion Program. You can find more information on their website.
Ferny Grove State High School – German Immersion
The German Immersion program at Ferny Grove State High School offers students an exciting opportunity to develop a very high level of German language proficiency through learning the regular curriculum in German. Students learn exactly the same curriculum as other students during Years 7, 8 and 9 in German. In Year 10, students continue to learn Science and Humanities in German, and begin the Senior German course. Towards the end of Year 10, students have the opportunity to travel to Germany on a three-week exchange program. Students stay with German families, attend school and tour Germany.
Parents of interested students indicate their interest in Year 6 by completing an Expression of Interest for Student Enrolment Form (PDF, 345 KB) and a German Immersion Expression of Interest Form (PDF, 322 KB). Upon acceptance of your enrolment application and completion of an enrolment interview, you will be contacted by a member of the Languages Faculty to arrange a German Immersion interview. Students are selected on the basis of the interview, their primary school results and recommendations by their primary classroom and language teachers. You can find more information on their website.
Indooroopilly State High School – Spanish Immersion
The Spanish Immersion Program is an intensive course that provides students with the deepest possible exposure to a second language and culture. Students enter in Year 7 and receive instruction in at least 60% of the curriculum in the second language through to Year 9. Maths, Science, Spanish, History, Geography and Physical Education are taught in Spanish providing students with a very high level of language proficiency, linguistic skills, intercultural understanding, and personal enrichment and challenge. Students may have the opportunity to travel to Madrid, Spain, in their final year of the program where they will attend classes at the prestigious Real Colegio Alfonso XII High School. Beyond Year 9, students in the Immersion Program may complete their Senior Spanish studies in Senior Secondary and may choose to study Advanced Spanish at the University of Queensland in Year 12.
Applications for expressions of interest in the Spanish Immersion Program will be required by the end of semester 1, 2018. Interviews for this Program will be conducted early in Term 3. No previous knowledge of the language is required.
Kenmore State High School – German Immersion
The GIEP teachers are specialists in their respective areas and are either native speakers of German or have extensive experience in the German language. In German Immersion students study up to 70% of their program in the German language. Students and teachers use German to study Mathematics, Science, German, Social Science and Physical Education. An exchange takes place in Term 4 of Year 10. Students study the regular Year 12 German course in Year 11 and the German Extension course in Year 12. Other subjects are studied in English in Years 11 and 12.
To be selected for the program students are asked to complete an application form and seek the recommendation of their primary schools. On receipt of the application, suitable candidates will be invited to an interview. Students are accepted on the basis of their primary school recommendations, school and other test results and their interviews. After the German Immersion interview, successful applicants will be asked to choose one of two immersion strands: Standard program or Standard program plus Music Extension.
Mansfield State High School – French Immersion
North Lakes State College – Italian Immersion
Robina State High School – Japanese Immersion
The Japanese immersion program offered at Robina State High School is the only Secondary Japanese Immersion Program in Australia. Students who are accepted into this program will study 60% of their curriculum in Japanese.
Students who wish to enrol in the program must have a minimum B grade average and be high achievers with a proven ability to cope in a challenging environment with an acceptance of high expectations. To apply you can visit their website and also check out their Japanese Immersion Brochures here.
Murrumba State Secondary College – Spanish Immersion
Murrumba State Secondary College offer both a Spanish acceleration and Spanish Immersion program. In the Spanish Immersion Program English-speaking students in Years 8-10 receive 50% of the curriculum in the second language. You can find out more information about the program and how to enrol via their Spanish Immersion Brochure or by contacting the school directly.
Tingalpa State High School – French Immersion
Wellers Hill State School – Japanese Bilingual Program
The Japanese Bilingual Program at Wellers Hill State School has a primary intent to not just teach Japanese but to improve a child’s learning ability through the development of additional neural pathways which research indicates can occur in children who commence the learning of a second language by eight years of age. It is expected that children who enrol in the program in Year 1 will be conversationally fluent in Japanese by Year 3 and technically fluent by the end of Year 5.