St Mary's offers three modern languages: French, Italian and Japanese. The Languages Department uses modern textbooks and innovative techniques to ensure that all girls enjoy and benefit from the learning of a second language.
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10
Year 7 students study one language for two years, with the option of beginning a second language in Year 8. In Years 7 to 10, students develop a knowledge and understanding of the culture of the country or countries in which the language they study is spoken, through background studies. Students have many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities such as excursions to restaurants, films, theatre productions, quiz afternoons and games afternoons with other schools.
In Year 9, a one-period option of Multicultural Studies is offered. Students participating in this course study, through the medium of English, the cultures and people of several countries in South America, Europe and Asia. A limited range of a variety of languages is also presented.
Years 11 and 12
In Years 11 and 12 students are offered the Second Language: ATAR courses. These are currently available in French, Italian and Japanese. Students must have studied the language in lower school in order to be eligible for upper school language courses. A second language is an invaluable and sometimes essential skill for many careers. Classroom activities are based around developing the students' reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Students have regular access to native speakers to gain valuable authentic experience of their chosen subject.
Students are encouraged to participate in external language competitions. These include the Alliance Française, WAATI (Western Australian Association of Teachers of Italian) examinations, the Japanese Language Speaking Competition, and the ACER National Language Certificate Examinations at two different levels. St Mary's regularly enters teams into the OZCLO, the Australian Computational Linguistics Olympiad, a national linguistics competition, and girls participate in the Language Perfect online vocabulary world and state championships.