Language Studies



Chinese | Italian | Greek

The student cohort of Thornbury High School is comprised of myriad different nationalities, and the Language Studies department is proud to support our school’s diversity through our extensive language programs, as well as events conducted by the department throughout the year. We believe that cultural diversity is instrumental in enriching our school community, as well as our society in general, and Thornbury strives to encourage our students to embrace and respect what diversity brings to our school.

Upon enrolling at Thornbury High School, Year 7 students may elect their choice of language to study from Years 7 to 9. Languages offered include Chinese, Italian, and Greek. Upon completion of language study at Year 9, students may elect to continue their study from Year 10 to VCE.

Students are supported by a dedicated and multi-disciplinary language staff, with the study of each offered language encompassing phonetics, conversational skills, reading comprehension, and cultural studies.
Language students also participate in a number of excursions and cultural incursions throughout the year, providing invaluable cultural context and learning opportunities outside the classroom.

Highlights from 2015/2016 include:

  • Annual school-wide celebration of Harmony Day, which encourages students to engage with cultural diversity.

  • Year 9 guided tours of the Immigration Museum, followed by a cultural tour of Melbourne’s street food vendors.

  • Congratulations to four of our Year 9 students, who were recipients of the Department of Education’s Victorian Young Leaders to China program. They each received a grant to fund their own independent overseas exchange to China in 2016.

  • Student of the Month awards, recognising outstanding student achievements in class.

  • The inaugural China Cultural Tour, a ten-day overseas trip visiting many historical sites of the Cultural Revolution and ancient China.

  • The arrival of Thornbury High School’s language assistants (Greek and Italian), who contribute to language classes and are hosted by Thornbury teaching staff.

Head of Department - Renata TirabassiHead of Languages – Renata Tirabassi

Ciao! Renata is fluent in Abruzzese dialect, which compliments her formal Italian. Renata major study was in Linguistics, and she is qualified to teach EAL, English, and History studies. Renata has been at Thornbury High School for three years, and loves the many exciting and diverse learning opportunities presented to Thornbury’s language students.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela