Prep them well for VCE

Junior School Language

Languages: An Integrated Approach

In 2014, Overnewton began the CLIL Program in Junior School in both Keilor & Taylors Lakes Campuses. All students in Prep to Year 4 participate in Science lessons utilising the Chinese Mandarin language as part of the Inquiring Learning process.

CLIL is an abbreviation for Content and Language Integrated Learning. It is a method of teaching subject content (e.g. Science, Geography, History etc.) through a second language.

Both linguist and neuroscientists suggest that learning a second language is easier for young children. Chinese is one of the most promising language subjects in Australia. According to the White Paper, the government is working to build Asia-literacy through schools and Chinese is one of the four priority Asian languages. China is one of world’s strongest economies and its vast development will have a continued impact on Australia. In the future, we need more people to speak Chinese and understand the culture to share the prosperity from a deeper and broader engagement with China.

Our vision statement for the CLIL Program states:

We want vibrant classrooms where the children are motivated and confident to talk and use language in different ways. They are challenged to acquire new knowledge and skills in order to achieve high academic standards.

There are many benefits to integrated content and language. CLIL students will:

  • Be further motivated to learn the subject when they notice they are also learning another language through a variety of interactive, hands-on activities.
  • Develop higher order thinking skills
  • Learn how to use the second language in both general and specialised situations.
  • Enhance intercultural awareness and promote global citizenship as they explore different, international perspectives on the subject they are learning.

Structure of CLIL Lessons:

  • Students in Prep to Years 2 participate in 25 minutes of Mandarin through Science each day of the school week
  • Students in Years 3 and 4 have additional 50 minutes time allocation per week of mandarin to enhance their vocabulary and work with the Chinese characters of Pinyin.