Over the last ten years T.N.I.S has been making efforts to offer language learning opportunities to all of the students. We started at a classroom level with teachers training in various languages and then sharing their knowledge within their classes. In 2013 it was decided that we needed to improve our existing programme. One way we thought we could really enhance our programme was to introduce native speakers who could both teach the students and support the staff with language learning. After looking carefully at the research related to language learning at the intermediate age level we also decided to ensure that students were being offered the language in short and frequent lessons every week.
We launched this new programme in 2014 with Te Reo. In conjunction with the Tuatahi Education Programme we offered all students 20 minutes of Maori four times a week. One of the most engaging and special parts of our programme has been the assistants who deliver the language alongside the teachers. Students and teachers have had an excellent introduction to the language and also gained understandings about the culture over one term. Singing, karakia and fun games have been an integral part of the programme.
We are now excited about the next stage of the programme where we are offering the students some choice about the language they would like to learn for the remainder of the year and hopefully into 2017 as well. We will follow the same structure by offering students the chance to be taught by native speakers alongside the teachers for four 20 minute sessions a week.
We currently offer five languages in this programme with: Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Te Reo, and Japanese.