At Sunbury College, students study Japanese as a compulsory subject until the end of Year 8. They can then choose to continue in a language study from Year 9 to 12.

The focus in language classes is to build student capacity to speak and write the language and to enhance their cultural understanding of the country. Students study different topics at each year level (animals, weather, colours, family, transport etc.) to encourage development of vocabulary. The College has a sister school relationship with Nagano High School in Japan. Successful biennial visits from one school to the other contribute to cultural and language enrichment. Strong bonds form between students that last beyond their school days.

Learning languages broadens students’ horizons about the personal, social, cultural and employment opportunities that are available in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. The interdependence of countries and communities requires people to negotiate experiences and meanings across languages and cultures. A bilingual or plurilingual capability is the norm in most parts of the world allow.

The curriculum follows the Victorian Curriculum under the broader domains of Communicating and Understanding.

Year 7

At Year 7, students learn Hiragana (Japanese characters) and basic socialising skills.

Year 8

At Year 8, students learn Kanji and begin to expand their vocabulary.

As part of cultural studies, students investigate and report on Japanese identity, customs and traditions.

The faculty undertakes a range of special events to provide enrichment studies. These include specific days to celebrate Japanese culture, visits to restaurants, opportunities to practise speaking skills and some cross tutoring with the local primary school.

Students are able to continue their study in Japanese through to VCE.