Multilingualism: Call for a Canterbury Languages Policy
In what can be termed as a first in the region, Anna Filippochkina of CLANZ (Community Languages Association of New Zealand) and Angela Bland of CANTESOL and TESOLNZ (Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages), organised a workshop for pro-fessional development of community language teachers on July 21. The two ladies, who have advocated the acquisition and maintenance of heritage and community languages in multilingual Christchurch for years now, also announced the launch of a Canterbury CLANZ branch. “Currently there is no national languages policy in NZ, though Auckland Languages Strategy was launched at the end of last year. We’re calling for all stakeholders to work towards a Canterbury Languages Policy which will be advocating for preservation and development of community languages in the region. For this, the Australia Languages Strategy, NZ Human Rights Commission language policy documents and other international models can be looked at,” noted Bland.
Bland, who had just been in Hamilton attending the CLESOL conference, also announced that the Community Languages and ESOL conference will be held in Christchurch in 2018.
“That’s why it’s important that we establish CLANZ Canterbury branch now, which will build a membership in the region in the next two years. We need at least a branch convener, a secretary, and a treasurer,” said Filippochkina.
Later, as part of the workshop, Una Cunningham, Associate Professor at the school of Teacher Education in University of Canterbury, shared her thoughts on how to help reluctant children talk in their community languages.
At the end the organisers announced a follow-up workshop on September 27, for community language teachers on how to facilitate creative teaching.
Declaration: It must be noted by our readers that Anna Filippochkina sit on the Board of the Canterbury Migrants Centre Trust, which published The Migrant Times.