Learning a language at John McGlashan College means learning about the world around us and going beyond the immediate living context of our boys. Living in a globalized world like ours, the ability to speak and understand a second language is extremely valuable. It provides students with intercultural communication skills allowing them to be better equipped as they move through this world.

Within the language classroom context, our students have cultural as well as linguistic experiences and thereby not only learn about the people of this world but also become more aware of their own culture and language.

Currently we offer three languages:

French year 8-13 (NCEA and IB)
German year 8-13 (NCEA and IB)
Spanish year 12-13 (IB and initio)

Immersion Camps

Usually once a year the senior students attend a language immersion camp where they spend one or more days with language students from schools all around Otago and engross themselves fully in the language through cultural and language activities. It gives students a sense of language community and makes connections between schools that are often long lasting.  


The French and German program offer exchanges to France and Germany and Spanish will be going on their exchange program for the first time at the end of 2015. For all exchanges the students are living with families and a host partner, are part of the host partner’s school and for 6 weeks are fully immersed in the culture and language. Students often see this as an experience of a lifetime and for many it has changed the course their life has taken due to the friendships and relationships they established while being overseas or having their host partner here with their own families.  


In order to make communication an authentic experience we collaborate with schools not only within Dunedin, for example for film projects, but also from all over the world so our students can get a sense of natural language exchange. For example, our year 9 students are currently working on a pen pal exchange with the Kant Gymnasium in Berlin, which includes letters and creative and informative videos. 


Languages Week 2018: Family Feud Cultural Style

The historic McGlashan Languages Week was revitalised with the new addition of a language and culture themed Family Feud game show, promptly grabbing the attention of the McGlashan community.

Posted: Tuesday October 23, 2018

New Zealand -Spain Exchange Programme

In December 2018 two Dunedin boys set out on a conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

Posted: Friday June 22, 2018

German Talkfest 2018

After months of intense planning, and unbearable anticipation a great day dawned: May 9, 2018.

Posted: Saturday May 19, 2018

5 Reasons to Learn a second Language

Why are languages part of the curriculum at John McGlashan College? Because we happen to have the teachers that speak the languages? Because the International Baccalaureate makes us take a language? Because we like the food? Or might there be other reasons for why we do it?

Posted: Thursday May 17, 2018