4. Japanese Immersion


 “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions”   - Oliver Wendell Holmes ​​​ ​

The Japanese Immersion Program is a highly regarded, long standing program of Academic Excellence. It offers students a unique opportunity to challenge themselves academically whilst becoming accomplished in Japanese. The program is designed for students with little or no background in Japanese. Students learn a number of subjects using Japanese as the medium of conversation.


Academic research strongly validates the benefits of learning in an immersion environment. The program operates in a tight-knit family context and sees students exit with a world-class education, intercultural skills, international experience and real options for international employment and study. Students who study in the Japanese Immersion Program (JIP) at Robina State High School will develop many cognitive, emotional and social skills through the challenge of learning a range of classes in Japanese. Students will graduate with skills of focus, attention, memory, multi-tasking and resilience. Students will also develop advanced Japanese language skills, Asian literacies and many multi-cultural learnings to develop them as global citizens.

Key Program Features and Opportunities

Robina has a long-standing sister school partnership with Okinawa Shogaku High School and Chichibu High School along with several other friendship schools in Japan. We also welcome numerous Japanese study tour groups to the school every year. These partnerships and programs provide Japanese Immersion students with a wealth of opportunities to support the program's intent. Immersion students become accustomed to listening well, focussing on the teacher, reading the board carefully, making good notes, talking less, asking more and studying. These skills become natural habits and as such have a "ripple effect" across all curriculum areas.

Students develop a capacity for higher order thinking as they cognitively struggle with trying to understand a Maths class being delivered in Japanese. It's not that students understand everything but rather they develop a capacity to problem solve at lightning speed! After three and a half years of this practice they can hypothesize, create alternative solutions and problem solve in a highly skilled manner.

In particular, Immersion graduates can remember more and can memorise content in an effective and efficient manner. Every day, Immersion students learn and remember new things, building memory capacity that helps them in every subject area. Needless to say, students also develop good Japanese language competency.

Another outcome of the Immersion course is the development of international mindedness. As students interact with the Japanese language and culture they gain valuable perspectives about Japan, and the world.   

Extra Curricular

Japanese is a perfect gateway language and the program strives to open up a whole new world of anime, manga, literature, music, games and fashion for students to enjoy. Students can also enjoy interacting with Japanese guests in purposeful ways and participating in Japanese art, cooking and cultural activities. Each year students participate in a world on-line Japanese learning competition and have the option to enter art and language competitions at state, national and international levels. Participation in our Taiko Drum Club is also encouraged.

At various junctures, students have the opportunity to attend activities culminating in a lengthy immersion experience in Japan.


It is expected that Immersion students will rise to the challenge of high expectations. If they are experiencing particular challenges we expect they will attend after school Juku (tutorials) and seek teacher support. We expect Immersion students to have a growth mindset and always find a way to improve. We expect all students to have access to a device as per Robina State High School's BYOD Policy that has Japanese fonts installed (Global IME).

Student performance will be monitored and reviewed regularly. Students must maintain high academic achievement as well as displaying high standards of behaviour and effort across all subjects. The school reserves the right to withdraw students from the program at any time.  Parents will be involved in this process. 

Parent Testimonials

“Saraya's academic results speak for themselves. She has consistently achieved above average for almost two years. Saraya is very focused and sets the bar high. Another academic outcome is the strong time management skills she has developed. The Immersion students have been amazing for social bonding on a level I think would not occur in mainstream class situations. Saraya works hard in Immersion as she is with a group of students who like to achieve.” 

– Mrs Sue McKenzie

“Our family has been affiliated with the Japanese Immersion Program since it began in 2008. Our daughter, Alex, entered the program when she was in grade 9 and has now completed a degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology at University. Our oldest son Matt balanced Futsal and Immersion when he started high school in 2009 and is now completing a dual degree in Engineering and in Mathematics. Our 15-year-old son Lachlan began in 2012 and has graduated from the program. We are delighted with the outcomes and opportunities the Immersion program has provided our children. I implore anyone whom would like to provide his or her child with a platform to success to consider the program.”

– Mrs Paula Lye

Selection Process

Students who wish to enrol in our Immersion Program must be able to demonstrate a minimum of a B average, show responsible behaviour, ability to cope with challenging learning environments, interest in Japan and acceptance of high expectations. 

Academic Scholarships

The school will grant some academic scholarships for entry into the Japanese Immersion Program. Scholarships are by written application and winners will be presented with their scholarship at their own school graduation. The scholarship is for the year of entry only and may be a part or full scholarship to contribution to the Student Resource Scheme. 

Parent / Teacher Contact

Parents will receive regular communication on student progress via email from teachers of core subjects. General emails about Immersion events and activities will be managed by Immersion staff. Parents will receive an invitation to join our Japanese Faculty Facebook Page where they will receive timely information about events and celebrate program successes.

Program Costs

Students will engage in specialised art and culture activities and also a number of competitions.  An additional cost of $300.00 will be required of each student involved in the program which includes a $100 partial payment towards the end of year camp.

Robina State High School was announced as the winner of the Education Queensland International Showcase Award for Excellence in Global Engagement at the Education Queensland Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools 2017

For more information please follow the links below. Feel free to contact our Head of Department Mrs Sellina McCluskey on for more information.

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Last reviewed 01 June 2022
Last updated 01 June 2022