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variety of pedagogical approaches were undertaken. It is a journey, and next year we will continue to seek new ways to support the boys as they explore new cultural perspectives. Unfortunately, another year of Covid-19 meant we were obliged to continue to “learn to dance in the rain” (Seneca) as I mentioned in last year’s report. Our Akaroa intensive had to be cancelled twice, remote learning was back and masks proved to be a significant challenge for interactive work, but I commend the boys for their patience, resilience and constant good humour as we battled through these things and the attendant illness that many of the school population experienced throughout the year. The senior Japanese classes were able to attend their immersion day at University of Canterbury and we still managed a range of culinary delights. The international languages Chapel service was another successful event. Boys shared prayers in te reo Ma¯ori, French, Japanese, Samoan, Sinhalese, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. Kevin Chiang, head of the International Committee, also gave an eloquent sermon. It has been a great pleasure to be associated with this Chapel service over the last 16 years. The boys give the wider school a wonderful insight into the beauty of the world’s languages

and the variety that we have been able to offer over these years has been astounding. They deliver their prayers with gravitas and pride and it is always an excellent way to start International Week. I would like to thank Rev'd Bosco Peters, Rev'd Cameron Pickering, Director of Music Robert Aburn and Nicholas Sutcliffe for their support. As I approach my retirement at the end of this academic year, it has been a time of great reflection. I have been thinking in particular about how the department has developed over these years and the challenges it has faced. In 2005, I came to College to a department which offered French, German, Japanese and beginner Latin. Year 9 courses were only 16 weeks before the boys had to start again with another language. Use of computers in the language classroom was minimal. Now, we offer full-year language courses in Year 9, which give the boys more time to really make advances in the language of their choice in that important first year, and computer-assisted learning plays a much larger role in the teaching and learning programmes at all year levels. Students use customised computer programmes to assist vocabulary learning, and our senior French students are regularly exposed to clips of native speaker interactions and other

authentic visual material as a matter of course. Laptops give us freedom from geographical restraints and more opportunities to customise learning. We currently offer te reo Ma¯ori from Years 9–13, which more accurately reflects Aotearoa–New Zealand. French and Japanese remain gateway languages for those with aspirations for careers overseas in Asia or Europe. Over the last 16 years our classrooms have gone from heritage buildings to portacabins to virtual rooms in cyberspace, which has been challenging at times, but the constant has always been the positive attitude of the boys and their desire to attain proficiency in a language other than English. Our exchange with Konan Boys’ High School in Japan has also remained a constant over the years, and we have had two very successful French exchange partners with whom we hope to reconnect after Covid-19. Exchanges have always been a rich source of learning for our boys, not just in terms of valuable linguistic gains, but also in terms of personal development. They come back from exchange fluent and keen to share their new talents, and their exchange partners enrich our classroom programmes immensely. Everyone wins and we look forward to seeing these pick up again in 2023. While the department no longer runs International Week, the boys


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