Learning a language at school will help to develop an understanding of the central roles that language, culture, place and heritage play in shaping identity and in giving direction and meaning to life.

Te Reo Māori

Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are intertwined, and so learning te reo Māori gives students access to te ao Māori (the Māori world) and to Māori world views. The insights and experiences that students gain as they learn the language will enrich and broaden their understandings of the uniqueness and complexity of te ao Māori.


Japanese language courses explore oral and written language and culture. Students learn Hiragana and Katakana leading to further study at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 in the senior school.


Chinese teaches oral and written language and explores the Chinese culture. Senior students have experienced a high level of success in international competitions.


French is offered at an introductory level at Year 9 through to Year 13 Scholarship. Students acquire the language through games, songs, role play, technology, collaboration and discussions. Cultural projects such as cooking and sampling French cuisine, and the study of French movies are integrated within the course. 


Spanish language learners work to build their knowledge of Spanish language and culture with opportunities for international travel to practise the language. Senior Northcote College students have experienced significant success in national Spanish Debating competitions.