Learning Languages and Key Competencies
Learning Languages enables students to practise all of the 5 Key Competencies of the New Zealand curriculum and therefore strive towards their development goals. They key competencies are integral parts of what Learning Languages entails for students, as detailed below:
Thinking - In languages, thinking often includes such processes as deducing a rule, inferring meaning from a text, finding a pattern, deciding on appropriate words to follow a stem, and using language functions such as explaining, classifying, comparing, and evaluating. Metacognitive processes (learning to learn) are also used in language study, which challenges the way in which students think.
Using language, symbols and texts - This competency is at the core of language learning across all three strands – communication, language knowledge, and cultural knowledge. Using language, symbols, and texts involves all the language skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and presenting or performing. To be proficient in this competency means being aware of language at word, sentence, and whole-text level and draw on their knowledge of a wide range of language features and text types to communicate effectively with audiences for specific purposes.
Managing self - Students learn how to manage themselves when they demonstrate that they can find opportunities to learn, use, and practise the target language, building on their own strengths and addressing their own identified learning needs. Learning Languages also raises ideas of identity, which is inherent in managing self.
Relating to others - This competency is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. It includes the ability to listen actively, recognise different points of view, negotiate, and share ideas. Intercultural communicative language teaching is at the heart of learning languages in the New Zealand Curriculum. From the beginning, students explore culture-in-language and of the perspectives of others. They also develop listening and negotiation skills in order to become effective communicators.
Participating and contributing - This involves developing a sense of responsibility and a sense of belonging. When students are involved in communicative language learning activities, they learn to take a share of responsibility for maintaining communication. They develop their sense of themselves and their own points of view and also learn about those of others. Exploring the world views of other people helps students to mature as citizens of local communities, nations, and the world.