Learning Languages | Wellington College

Learning Languages

Learning a second language provides a means of communicating with people from another culture, as well as exploring one’s own world. At Years 9 and 10, all students study one language, except those who need additional literacy support. From Year 11 through to Year 13, language learning is optional.

HOD: Miriam Tornquist        
Modern Languages
The Language Department at Wellington College is well-established and staffed by experts in the six languages offered: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Te Reo Maori. All language courses begin at Year 9, except for German that begins in Year 10. Timetabled classes are available for each language at all levels and senior students work towards NCEA qualifications (levels 1 to 3) and NZ Scholarship.
Courses are designed around a core communication strand, supported by two further strands, directed at developing the linguistic competence and cultural awareness needed for communicative competence. Opportunities are provided for extension work and enrichment through language clubs and co-curricular activities, the use of audiovisual resources and ICT, participation in national and overseas language competitions, student international exchanges and tours organised to countries where the target language is spoken.
Students may choose to study Latin from years 9 to 13 and Classical Studies as a senior subject in years 12 and 13.
The Latin programme exposes students to the contribution of the classical world to our heritage, enhances literacy and analytical skills and facilitates the learning of other languages. Classes involve translation of Latin and examination of the artefacts of the classical world, using a wide range of textual, film and electronic resources. Students are encouraged to reflect on connections between our society and the Greco-Roman world, and to develop their thinking skills.  
Classical Studies is a multi-disciplinary subject offered only in the senior school. Students undertake an in-depth study of historical, literary and art historical aspects of the Greek and Roman worlds. Topics covered at Year 12 include: Roman Social Life, Roman Politics at the time of Caesar, Homer and Greek Art and Architecture. At Year 13, students study the career of Alexander the Great, Socrates, Virgil or Aristophanes, Greek Vase Painting or Roman Art and Architecture. Classes focus on developing skill in critical evaluation and enjoying the ideas and works of the classical world. A wide range of resources, both textual and visual, are used in class and for independent study, and emphasis is placed on developing expertise in formal writing and contributing in an articulate way to intelligent debate.