Curriculum and Learning


Languages take you places

The Southland Girls’ High School Languages Department offers four languages – French, German, Japanese and Te Reo Māori.

Our Languages Department Whakataukī is:

E koekoe te Tui The Tui sings
E ketekete te Kaka The Kaka chatters
E kutu te Kereru The Wood Pigeon coos

A whakataukī is a Māori proverb.  We believe this whakataukī reflects the nature of language learning, in that people speak different languages.

Our curriculum is focused around building confident communicators who can interact with people of diverse cultural backgrounds.  Language programmes provide students with a wide variety of best practice second language learning opportunities.  All of our teachers are specialist language teachers who provide girls with learning in the classroom that is stimulating and up to the minute. Students participate in individual, pair and group activities that provide them with the opportunity to extend themselves in their chosen language.  Our Languages Department was completely redeveloped in 2019 into a modern learning area. A key feature being six small breakout rooms for recording the spoken component of our courses and small group work.

Paper Feather Korowai

Year 7 – students learn Te Reo Māori as part of the ‘Explore our Language and Culture’ learning package.
Year 8 – the girls learn an international language for one semester as part of the ‘Explore the World with Languages’ learning package.

From Year 9 – students can choose to study a language if they wish.  It is recommended that if students intend to continue studying the language for NCEA Level 1, that they complete a full year of study in both Years 9 and 10.  Language courses are offered up to NCEA Level 3 and Scholarship Level.

There are a range of language based activities for students to become involved in within our department.  These include:

  • Ngā Manu Kōrero
  • Southland Interschool Japanese Speech Competition
  • Education Perfect Languages Championships

Languages field trips both locally and regionally:

  • International Languages Week Celebrations
  • Māori Language Week Celebrations
  • Japanese Trivia Champs (Yr 7-10)

For students learning international languages there are also a number of trips and scholarships available that enable them to travel overseas to improve their language skills.  Opportunities include:

  • Kumagaya Exchange – a school led trip to Japan for two weeks
  • French Exchange – a school led trip to France for four weeks
  • German Exchange – an individual exchange, living and learning in Germany for 7 weeks.

Click on the link below for more information:

Contact details

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