LOTE - Italian/Perfoming Arts

The Italian Program at St. Mary’s Parish School

Cari Genitori,

This year, St. Mary’s Parish School is participating in a Languages project funded by Catholic Education Melbourne, which aims to change the way Italian is taught, learnt and used in our school community.

The Languages Other Than English (L.O.T.E.) programs generally have failed to be successful for the vast majority of students. This is true in so many of our schools primary and secondary. There needed to be a change and this project a researched based approach to the L.O.T.E. Italian  program in our school.

This project is titled DALL; Developing Autonomous Language Learners. It is in conjunction with Catholic Education Melbourne and Monash University. The key changes the children  will experience include:

Introduction of a group of focus words each week, which can be used frequently for interacting in the classroom, at school, home and general conversation.
Use of gesture to help students learn, understand and remember the vocabulary.
Expected learning outcome will be made clear for students – to be able to actively remember and use at least 100 functional words.
Students will set their own learning goals and will share strategies with each other to help the whole class achieve the expected learning outcome.
Students will be encouraged to use the vocabulary they have learnt to speak to each other in class, instead of using English.
Our whole school community will use the weekly focus words, for example in assembly, for announcements, in signage, in all classrooms and hopefully, with your assistance, at home.
The teacher will occasionally video themselves teaching students in the classroom to review and reflect on improving their teaching practice.

We are also incorporating the CLIL program; Content and language integrated learning, which combines teaching content from a curriculum area (Performing Arts) with the explicit teaching of the Italian language.  There is a focus on the vocabulary and structures, which are required for the Performing Arts curriculum.  This is why there is now an integrated approach to the learning of a language at St. Mary’s Parish School, hence why we welcome the program; Italian/Performing Arts.

Monash University researchers work with our Italian/ Performing Arts teacher throughout this three year research project.

We are confident that these changes will help the child learn to use Italian to speak with his/her teacher and classmates, rather than using English and to develop an interest in learning about language. 

As Principal of St. Mary’s Parish School, I support our involvement in this research. It is an innovative approach to the teaching, learning and assessment of L.O.T.E. Italian in our school.


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