Years 9 and 10 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Students have prior experience of learning Japanese and bring a range of capabilities, strategies and knowledge that can be applied to new learning. They are expanding the range and nature of their learning experiences and of the contexts within which they communicate with others. They have a growing awareness of the wider world, including the diversity of languages, cultures, and forms of intercultural communication. They are considering future pathways and prospects, including how Japanese may feature in these.
Japanese language learning and use
This is a period of language exploration and vocabulary expansion, and of experimentation with different modes of communication, collaborative performance and guided group discussion. Increasing control of language structures and systems builds confidence and interest in communicating in a wider range of contexts. Students use Japanese in classroom interactions and activities, to communicate and interact, to access and exchange information, to express feelings and opinions, to participate in imaginative and creative experiences, and to design, interpret and analyse a range of texts. They use a wide range of formulaic expressions that are essential for everyday Japanese interactions. They use an increasing range of culturally appropriate gestures and behaviours, with a greater degree of self-correction, spontaneity and repair. They monitor their own language use in relation to cultural context, situation, purpose and audience. They develop a greater understanding of Japanese cultural norms, for example, in relation to responding to praise, communicating refusal, or the use of eye contact. Students initiate and sustain interactions with other speakers of Japanese in spoken and written modes. They use familiar language patterns as a foundation for generating increasingly original language in the contexts of their physical and social environments. They develop broader knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to produce more sophisticated language for a variety of audiences.
Students build on their mastery of hiragana and katakana and understand sound variation in the pronunciation of borrowed words. They use a greater number of kanji and increasingly apply their understanding of known kanji to predict the meaning of unfamiliar words.
They explore and produce a range of texts associated with different contexts, and analyse information and concepts relevant to their social, cultural and communicative interests. They read, view and interact with texts for a variety of purposes, for example, social, informative, transactional, imaginative, expressive and instructional. They draw on modelled examples to understand and use more complex structures. They engage in drafting and editing their texts to clarify meaning.
Contexts of interaction
Learners use written and spoken Japanese to interact with peers, teachers and other speakers of the language in immediate and local contexts, and may also interact with other Japanese speakers through online environments.
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a range of language-learning texts and supporting materials, such as textbooks, modified and authentic texts, film/video clips, media texts and online materials. They also draw increasingly on texts produced for young people in Japan, such as short stories, songs, poems, films, video clips, blogs and social media texts.
Features of Japanese language use
Students become more fluent and accurate in both spoken and written language production. They gain more control of grammatical and textual elements. They use expressive and descriptive language to discuss feelings, opinions and experiences. They demonstrate understanding of language variation and change, and of how intercultural experience, technology, media and globalisation influence forms of communication. They develop understanding of the nature of both translation and interpretation, noticing the relationship between language, texts and culture. They understand that many Japanese phrases convey values and beliefs that underpin Japanese culture and cannot be translated into English. A balance is maintained between activities that focus on language forms and structures and those that involve communicative tasks, performance and experiences. Tasks involve collaborative as well as independent language planning and performance, and development and strategic use of language and cultural resources. Learners analyse text more critically, identifying how language choices reflect perspectives and shape meaning. At this level, learners are developing understanding of the relationship between language, culture and identity. They identify how meaning-making and representation in a different language involve interpretation and personal response as well as literal translation and factual reporting. They explore the reciprocal nature of intercultural communication: how moving between different languages and cultural systems impacts on the learner’s ways of thinking and behaving; and how successful communication requires flexibility, awareness and openness to alternative ways. They develop the capacity to consider their own cultural practices through the eyes of others, and to communicate in interculturally appropriate ways.
Learners draw from authentic and modified resources to apply their developing linguistic and cultural understandings. They compare, analyse and reflect on their understandings of Japanese language and culture and of their own language(s) and culture(s), and question their preconceived ideas about Western and Japanese values. They continue to build metalanguage to think and communicate about Japanese and about their own language(s) and culture(s), using English to discuss their experience of language learning. Students identify aspects of culture embedded in Japanese words, expressions and behaviours, and recognise contexts in which particular values are expressed for different purposes and audiences.
Level of support
This stage of learning involves consolidation and progression. Learners are provided with new challenges and engage in more independent learning experiences. Continued scaffolding, modelling and monitoring support these challenges. Students are encouraged to develop increasing autonomy as language learners and users and to self-monitor and adjust language in response to their experience in different contexts. They analyse and reflect on texts and intercultural experiences through discussion, documenting and journaling. Continued focused attention on grammatical and textual features supports learners’ development as text producers.
The role of English
Japanese is used in more extended and complex ways by both learners and teachers. English is used for substantive discussion, elaboration, comparison, analysis and reflection.