Kia ora! Talofa! Mālō e lelei! Hello!: Learning about Bilingual Education in New Zealand
Monday, 07 August 2017
It was an encounter beyond their imagination. When a group of BA(Ed) (Malay Language) student teachers stepped into Finlayson Park School, they were greeted by the entire school complete with the traditional Powhiri welcome – speeches, dancing, singing and hongi (rubbing of the noses!).
The visit was part of an enrichment programme of AAD40B Bilingual Learners and Bilingual Education, a final-year course taught by A/P Mukhlis Abu Bakar. The itinerary included two days at Finlayson Park School and one day at Westmere School. Besides the English-medium programme where students take their heritage language as a subject much like the system in Singapore, these schools also offer their signature dual language programmes where two languages are used as mediums of instruction for all content subjects. It is these special programmes that our student teachers came to see. They interacted with the students and teachers in and outside the classrooms and learned on-site how the schools nurture young bilinguals in either English-Maori, English-Samoan or English-Tongan. Special thanks to Shirley Maihi, Principal of Finlayson Park School, and Jane Cooper, Head of Maori Bilingual Unit, Westmere School, for hosting our student teachers.
The visit ended with an interactive discussion session with bilingual education experts from the University of Auckland – Chris Lowman and John McCaffery.
For the full Powhiri welcome, click here:
Source: ALC, Auckland Schools Visit 7-10 August 2017