Cultural mix adds to sum of pupils' learning
Winton teenagers will say hola to International Languages Week and au revoir to English this week.
Central Southland College is taking part in the nationwide event, using the week as a way for students to learn about the 11 different cultures at their school.
The teacher in charge of languages, Jean Wilson, said although only French and Maori were taught at the school, many more languages were spoken and the week provided an opportunity to embrace that.
With students from countries including Spain, Denmark, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Winton students were already exposed to a wide range of languages.
The week was about expanding their knowledge and sharing trad itions.
With events planned for every lunchtime, including cooking demonstrations, dances and art work, it would be an educational week for many students, Ms Wilson said.
Today students had more opportunities to meet people from other countries and, with greater numbers of bilingual people than those who could speak only one language in the world, it was important to be able to speak more than one language, she said.
That sentiment was shared by Spanish student Roberto Nares, 16. The teenager had gone from living in the heart of Madrid to the Oreti Plains, but it was an experience that he loved, he said.
All the international students agreed that the peace and quiet was what they loved most about Southland.
However, next week that silence may be broken as they pass on their mother tongues to the Kiwi students who, for months, have been teaching them English, New Zealand slang and how to roll their r's.
International Languages Week runs until August 24.
WAYS TO SAY HELLO
French: bonjour (hello); au revoir (goodbye)
Maori: kia ora
Chinese: ni hao
- © Fairfax NZ News
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