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Languages Day at Wenona

Last Friday was Languages Day for Year 8 and a chance to participate in lots of fun, intercultural activities while experiencing different cultures and practising their language skills.

Head of Languages, Mr Boschiero said “Getting involved in different intercultural activities is a great way for our students to enhance their understanding of cultural and linguistic elements of the language they are studying, as well as exposing them to a culture that is less familiar to them.”

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Jianzi is a traditional Chinese sport which derived from another ancient Chinese sport, Cuju. Jianzi is named after the object that is used to play the sport – a Jianzi loosely resembles a weighted shuttlecock.

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Languages Day kicked off in the Small Gym, with our Year 8 French and Chinese students watching a video in Chinese before perfecting the art of making their very own Jianzi. They then had great fun playing with them, testing out their hand-to-eye coordination and their football skills as they tried to keep their Jianzi in the air.

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After all that exercise, it was time for something a little more genteel, so the students headed off for Morning Tea at Le Café Français. They had to use their French language skills to order pain au chocolat and delicious croissants, all washed down with mugs of chocolat chaud, which they enjoyed in the garden sunshine.

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After lunch, the Japanese students had an opportunity to make Koinabori, which look like carp-shaped windsocks. They are traditionally used to decorate the landscape of Japan from April to early May to celebrate Children’s Day on 5 May. In Japanese culture, the carp is a symbol of courage and strength because of its ability to swim up a waterfall. By hanging Koinabori outside their homes, Japanese people are expressing the hope that their children will grow up healthy and strong like wild carp.

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Languages Day finished with a lively salsa dancing lesson to celebrate Spanish cultures around the world. The origins of salsa date back to the 1900s in Eastern Cuba, where musical elements and rhythms from various styles were combined.

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Head of Languages, Mr Boschiero said, “These activities provided opportunities for our students to experience important cultural elements of the cultures that they are exposed to, helping them to better understand people, events, traditions and customs. They were also exposed to important language lessons while having fun doing each activity. We hope this will inspire their drive and enthusiasm for their future learning.”