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Community language teacher education needs in New Zealand

Shameem, Nikhat (2003) Community language teacher education needs in New Zealand. In: Bilingual Children’s Language and Literacy Development. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, pp. 223-244. ISBN 9781853597138

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The teaching of community languages in the Western world has been an issue in recent decades, when the primary aim of immigration is no longer perceived by most governments and policy makers to be assimilation, and cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity are counted as part of a nation's resources. The role that immigrants play in a nation and the degree of support they receive from government agencies are most clearly seen in the specific provisions made for new immigrants to learn about and adapt to the host culture while maintaining and strengthening their own culture and languages. The trend in Aotearoa/ New Zealand (NZ), as in the West, tends to be for majority language instruction (invariably English) which ensures the learning of English but also supports the shift of the mother-tongues of immigrants by the third generation (Holmes & Harlow, 1991; Shameem, 1997, 1999). Despite the well documented trend of immigrant language shift the learning of minority languages other than English is considered the responsibility of the parents and community. This is despite any awareness in the greater society of the benefits of mother-tongue maintenance. In NZ, the revival and development of Te Reo Māori, has brought the issues of language death and the repercussions of this for Māori, culture, identity and self-esteem to the fore. Despite this awareness, community language classes continue to be provided in an ad hoc way by volunteers in the community and parents. Members of most minority communities may have only sketchy knowledge of these classes and this knowledge is mainly disseminated through networking and personal contacts. There is no National Language Policy to safeguard the linguistic interests of minority communities or to ensure continuity of language and culture of the forty or so minority speech communities now living in NZ (Holt, 1999). This chapter reports on the nature of community language teaching in NZ, specifically identifies the training needs of teachers in Auckland and presents the outline of a possible teacher training programme for them. The participants in this survey, which was conducted in 2000, were community leaders, teachers, language students (both adults and children) and the parents of children under sixteen.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE)
Depositing User: Nikhat Shameem
Date Deposited: 26 May 2023 00:21
Last Modified: 26 May 2023 00:21

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