The Language program at STMCPS focuses on the national language of our closest neighbour, Indonesia. Indonesian or ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ is based on the Malaysian language and over 200 million people in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand speak these almost identical languages. As Australia’s closest neighbour and ever-popular tourist destination, Indonesia opens many opportunities in tourism, education, government and business.
The school has its own Indonesian classroom where students from Kindergarten to Year 6 learn Indonesian once a week for fifty minutes. Our Indonesian Language Program is aligned with the Western Australian Languages Curriculum and is aimed at teaching authentic language for real communication and knowledge of Indonesian culture. Developmentally appropriate learning strategies are selected and learning activities are chosen to enable different learning styles to be addressed as students participate in a variety of activities that encompass visual, oral and hands on approaches. Vocabulary and number games, puppets, songs, role plays, cultural activities, reading and writing practice, and computer activities are among a range of activities used to provide a differentiated curriculum and to meet the diverse needs of students.
Where possible ICT is used to advantage in the classroom through Indonesian film clips and documentaries that enable students to gain an understanding of Indonesian culture, view what life is like in different parts of Indonesia and listen to native speakers of Indonesian. Educational apps, such as Languages Online, Kahoot! and Quizlet, are used to consolidate and extend language learning. Language learning websites like the Language Learning Space, which has game-based challenges with engaging graphic novels that allow students to learn the language as well as experience aspects of Indonesian culture, are used with upper primary students.
In 2019, through our membership with WILTA (Western Australian Indonesian Teaching Association), STMCPS hosted an Indonesia teacher from Bali, Ibu Amel. Ibu Amel worked with students from Kindergarten to Year 6, giving all students the opportunity to participate in a range of authentic cultural experiences from dressing up in traditional costumes, learning about school in Indonesia and making kites. We look forward to hosting more teachers from Indonesia in the future. Past cultural events in recent years at the school include incursions from Suara Indonesia Dance and Sumardi Master Puppeteer (wayang kulit from central Java).
St Thomas More, Margaret River
To know and to love Jesus, to seek wisdom and to develop respect for the rights and dignity of all