“Una linguaggio diverso è una diversa visione della vita.”
A different language is a different vision of life - Federico Fellini
Italian is one of the specialist subjects offered as part of Mullum Primary School’s curriculum. All children from Foundation to Grade 6 participate in a 50-minute lesson of Italian each week. Our Italian program is based on The Victorian Curriculum for Languages. Each term students cover a range of topics that incorporate both cultural and linguistic elements of the Italian language. The program also makes authentic links to classroom ‘Units of Inquiry’ where possible.
Our focus is to build on the students’ confidence and ability to use the Italian language to communicate and to gain a deeper understanding of how languages work. It is also to develop understanding, tolerance, and respect for all cultures and languages.
In Italian classes, the students are encouraged to use the language as much as possible for classroom routines, social interactions, structured learning tasks, and language experimentation and practise. Students grow in their familiarity of the sounds and rhythm of the language and build on their ability to apply the correct pronunciation and intonation when speaking. The Italian culture and language are explored through shared reading of Italian stories, singing, dancing, movement, drama, games, dialogues, roleplays, artwork and through the use of various digital technologies.
The Biennial Italian Day is a highlight at Mullum Primary School. It is a time where the school community come together to celebrate all things Italian. Students are encouraged to dress up as something representative of Italy. They participate in cultural activities, an Italian performance and are treated to pizza and gelato. They also showcase their learning to the school community through class performances.
Italian has many common features and connections with English, sharing many Latin-derived words and using the same Roman alphabet. The meaning of many Italian words can be instantly recognised through their similarity in English. Italian is a mostly phonetic language, pronounced generally as it is written, which is especially helpful in the development of listening, speaking reading and writing skills. As Italian is widely spoken in Australia, many opportunities exist to hear and use the language in real-life situations, such as restaurants and cafes and in their local community.
Why learn a language?
Research has shown that learning another language can:
Stimulate brain development
Significantly enhance English literacy skills
Improve memory, concentration and numeracy skills
Improve problem solving and critical thinking skills
Improve overall performance at school
Encourage respect and understanding of other cultures