Years 7 and 8 Band Description
The nature of the learners
These years represent a transition to secondary school. Students in this sequence are continuing to study Vietnamese, bringing with them an established capability to interact in different situations, to engage with a variety of texts and to communicate about their immediate world and that of Vietnam and other Vietnamese-speaking communities.
Vietnamese language learning and use
The focus of learning shifts from the world of learners’ own experience and imagination to the wider world. Learners make cross-curricular connections and explore intercultural perspectives and experiences relating to teenage life and interests. They increasingly access information from local sources and the internet to explore topical themes and issues such as friends and family, home and school, discipline and freedom, study and relaxation, appearance and personality, food and health, and the natural and built environments. They read a range of Vietnamese texts, such as diary entries, emails, letters, travel brochures, print or online reports and articles, to collate and use information about aspects of culture, both in Vietnam and in Vietnamese-speaking communities in the Australian context.
Vietnamese folk tales, common idioms, proverbs and folk songs (ca dao), such as Tấm Cám, Sơn Tinh Thủy Tinh; mò kim đáy biển; Ăn trái nhớ kẻ trồng cây; Cá không ăn muối cá ươn, Con cưỡng/cãi cha mẹ trăm đường con hư, are also introduced at this level to familiarise students with Vietnamese folk literature. Students learn to evaluate information and explore the representation of places, people, experiences and cultures in diverse sources. They use different processing strategies and their knowledge of language, increasingly drawing on understanding of text types, for example, when writing a recount or report. They produce descriptive, imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to present information and opinions on topics and concepts studied. They use vocabulary and grammar with increasing accuracy, drafting and editing to improve structure and clarify meaning.
Contexts of interaction
Learners work both collaboratively and independently, exploring different modes and genres of communication with particular reference to their current social, cultural and communicative interests. They pool language knowledge and resources to plan, problem-solve, monitor and reflect. They use Vietnamese to interact with teachers, peers and local Vietnamese speakers, participating in authentic situations at home and school and within the local community. The context of interactions extends beyond the classroom and involves participating actively in planning individual events or celebrations, for example, Tuần tới chúng mình tổ chức sinh nhật cho Nam ở trường nhé. Cuối năm nay nhà mình đi chơi ở đâu? Con sẽ giúp ba mẹ quét dọn nhà cửa để ăn Tết. Learners participate in discussions and presentations on topics of interest and on life experiences in different contexts and cultures. They listen to and view advertisements, announcements, conversations, television programs, documentaries, music performances and films to further explore Vietnamese language and culture. Additional opportunities for interaction are provided by purposeful and integrated use of information and communication technologies (ICT), for example, videoconferencing and e-learning.
Texts and resources
Learners read, view and interact with a broad range of texts and resources specifically designed for learning Vietnamese in school contexts, such as textbooks, readers, videos and online materials, including those developed for computer-supported collaborative learning. They also access authentic materials created for Vietnamese-speaking communities, such as films, literature, websites and magazines. They use a range of dictionaries and translation methods to support comprehension.
Features of Vietnamese language use
Learners use appropriate pronunciation, accent and intonation patterns and spelling in a range of sentences, such as statements, questions and exclamations. By building their language knowledge, learners are able to develop and express more complex concepts in Vietnamese. They use a range of grammatical forms and structures to convey relationships between people, places, events and ideas. They employ a variety of sentence structures and grammatical features, including direct and indirect speech (Ba mẹ nói với tôi: ‘Con nên chăm học’. Ba mẹ bảo tôi nên chăm học) to elaborate on ideas and opinions. Learners explore Vietnamese use of alliteration (vui vẻ, mát mẻ, hớn hở) and common onomatopoeic forms (ào ào, rì rào, đì đùng), as well as common expressions, idioms and proverbs, such as tiền rừng bạc biển, có chí thì nên, uống nước nhớ nguồn, to enrich their understanding and use of language. They learn to distinguish between the meanings of Vietnamese homonyms such as ăn (‘eat’ or ‘win’) and hay (‘interesting’, ‘usually’ or ‘or’), depending on the context of use. They make connections between texts and cultural contexts, identifying how cultural values and perspectives are embedded in language, for example, chữ hiếu, ơn nghĩa sinh thành, tình nghĩa thầy trò, ở hiền gặp lành, and how language choices determine how people, issues and circumstances are represented, for example, con cưng/con yêu quý, lợi ích to lớn/thiệt hại đáng kể, hoàn cảnh khó khăn.
Level of support
The class will likely comprise background learners with a range of prior experience in studying Vietnamese. Learners are supported through multilevel and differentiated tasks. Consolidation of prior learning is balanced with the provision of new, engaging and challenging experiences. As they develop increasing autonomy as language learners and users, learners are supported to self-monitor and reflect on language use in response to their experiences in diverse contexts.
The role of English
The classroom is increasingly characterised by bilinguality, with Vietnamese being the principal language of communication. English may be used separately or in conjunction with Vietnamese to compare and evaluate translations, or to express ideas, personal views and experiences. Learners continue to develop a metalanguage for thinking and communicating about language and culture from a bilingual perspective, and discussing connections within and across languages and cultures. They recognise significant Vietnamese practices (mừng tuổi, xông đất, lì xì, thờ cúng ông bà), values (lòng hiếu thảo, coi trọng giáo dục) and beliefs (đạo Phật, Nho giáo), and explore the impact of culture on language use, for example, honorific words (dạ/dạ thưa/thưa/kính thưa) and expressions such as kính lão đắc thọ, kính trên nhường dưới. They examine their personal and cultural identity and reflect on the nature of intercultural exchanges in which they are involved, comparing themselves with other people and generations, questioning their own assumptions and others’ interpretation of their linguistic, social and cultural practices.