Years 5 and 6 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level, students are widening their social networks, experiences and communication repertoires in both their first language and Japanese. They continue to need guidance and participate in structured, collaborative tasks that both recycle and extend language. Students are gaining greater independence and becoming more conscious of their peers and social context. They are gaining a greater awareness of the world around them. Learners are noticing similarities and differences between Japanese language and culture and their own.
Japanese language learning and use
Learners use Japanese with peers and the teacher for a widening range of purposes: asking and responding to questions, exchanging information, expressing ideas and feelings, performing, responding to learning experiences, and interacting with Japanese language resources. They are developing greater fluency and accuracy in communication. As they draw on a growing range of vocabulary resources and grammatical structures, their pronunciation, intonation and phrasing improve. They begin to use Japanese more spontaneously when interacting with one another, and use an increasing range of body language and gestures. Shared tasks provide a context for purposeful language experience and experimentation. Focused attention on language structures, literacy skills development and exploration of cultural elements of communication are conducted at least in part in Japanese. Learners use digital media to support their learning in increasingly independent ways, such as exchanging resources and information with other Japanese speakers. In doing this, they may access music and media resources.
Contexts of interaction
Learners use Japanese with one another and with the teacher for a growing range of purposes. They may have some access to other Japanese speakers and cultural experiences in wider contexts and communities through the use of information and communications technology (ICT).
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a growing range of oral, written and multimodal texts, including published texts such as modified folk stories, songs and computer games, as well as teacher-generated resources such as language games, exercises and presentations. In addition, learners have some access to Japanese language and culture through texts created for young Japanese people, such as stories, music clips, anime/manga and video clips.
Features of Japanese language use
Learners notice the relationship between stress, pacing and meaning, and use appropriate intonation patterns to exclaim, make a statement or ask a question. They continue to acquire a wider range of vocabulary and to build grammatical and textual knowledge. They use verbs, nouns and adjectives, a variety of particles, prepositions, counters and conjunctions. They differentiate between animate and inanimate objects and apply their knowledge of こそあど in context. They develop metalanguage to describe patterns, rules and variations in language structures. As they use Japanese to interact in different situations, they develop understanding of how language and culture influence each other, and reflect on their own ways of communicating and using language. Learners begin to experience and reflect on the challenges and opportunities involved in moving between languages and different ways of making meaning.
Level of support
While learners work more independently at this level, ongoing support is incorporated into tasks and activities. Systematic feedback and review assist the interactive process of learning. Support includes provision of models, stimulus materials, scaffolded opportunities for reflection, and resources such as word and character charts, vocabulary lists, dictionaries and electronic reference materials. Learning tasks and activities take account of both learners’ current level of Japanese capability and their more general cognitive and social levels of development.
The role of English
While the use of Japanese in the classroom increases at this level, the use of English for discussion, reflection and explanation ensures the continued development of learners’ knowledge base and intercultural capability.