In NSW high schools, languages is a key learning area.
Language study allows students to develop communication skills, learn about languages as systems and explore the relationship between language and culture. Students engage with the linguistic and cultural diversity of societies and reflect on their understanding of social interactions.
The study of a language is compulsory for 100 hours in one continuous school year from Year 7 to Year 10, but preferably in Years 7 or 8.
In Years 11 and 12, NSW schools offer a wide variety of languages, catering for beginning students to background speakers.
All girls study LOTE (Languages other than English) in Year 7 and Year 8. LOTE is an elective from Year 9 to Year 12.
All students complete an introductory course of 3 languages, French, German and Japanese, approximately 13 weeks for each. At the end of the year the girls choose to do one language for year 8.
Students complete a mandatory 100 hours of continuous study of one language – French, German or Japanese. The number of classes of each language varies from year to year depending on the popularity of choice.
Years 9 - 10
There are elective classes in the three languages. A variety of activities are offered to highlight the relevance of language studied.
Years 11 - 12
Mackellar offers continuing language courses in 2 Unit French, German and Japanese for those girls who have completed the Study of a Language in Stage 5.
Students who have not studied these languages before can also begin their studies at a beginner level and complete a 2 Unit course for the HSC.
All languages have the option of an Extension level in the HSC.
Students are encouraged to maintain their background language, by studying it either at a Saturday School of Community Languages or by correspondence through the Open High School.
The language department also offers a 1 Unit CEC course –
Languages : Tourism, which gives an insight into tourism in Sydney and a very brief introduction to a European and an Asian language.