Advice to schools about hosting a Community Language School
Articles,  Blog

Advice to schools about hosting a Community Language School

I think the most important thing is
communication and to reduce the fear of the unknown. Because in fact we are
developing global citizens and that’s our role as teachers and leaders in
education and so providing the facilities in a positive and proactive
way. Then offer that model that says .. that this is a part of who we are as a nation
and this is part of who we are as a school community. Face it head-on,
take it seriously ,build rapport and understanding with the community
language principals. They are people those teachers are teachers. They’ve
often been trained perhaps outside of the system that we’re
in now. Sometimes they are not paid they’re volunteers we need to remember
that you know they they also are operating in their spare time and with
considerable challenge. Not to be afraid of it, but to embrace it. To embrace the
culture of it. Because it gives us the school another dimension. It shows the
the school to the community in another dimension. Our schools are only used for
six hours – eight hours a day. So they are sitting idle for 16 to 18 hours a day. So when you look at it, it isn’t a good use of public facilities. There’s an
opportunity for a deeper understanding of the cultural differences between you
know the mainstream Australian society and those people have brought a
different language to Australia and are maintaining it. I know that the people
who are involved in Saturday morning schools are very dedicated. They want to
maintain their language and their cultural traditions for the younger
generation. Principals need to look beyond just the fact that it’s a bit of
an impost on the school and they’re providing a space. As is evidenced here
at our school we’ve had a great development and a long term relationship with the Japanese community. Where we’ve had different occasions and different events where
we’ve shared understandings. They really have become part of our schools culture in any case. then if a school has students from that language background then that’s an added bonus – The fact that schools can create all sorts of
different programs and events. We are the custodians as principals of
Department of Education facilities they’re not my facilities and they’re not even really Mackellar Girls’ facilities. They’re Department of Education facilities and so principals need to remember or know that the Community Languages Program is part of the Department of Education and if community language groups wish to use
our facilities it’s only fair and reasonable that we help accommodate our
fellow educators. Because that’s really what they are. They want to just educate
the children in their community in their languages from their home country. We have the facilities to do it when it doesn’t interfere with us. It’s just a
really nice human thing to do to to help the community language people out.

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