Date
12 August 2022

Integrate Pacific languages and practices into your classroom programme

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Building an inclusive, culturally responsive classroom environment’

Support students to enjoy and express their cultural identity

Support students to enjoy and express their cultural identity

Schools should reflect and accommodate the diversity of their students in their uniform policies. This can be achieved by including items of cultural or religious significance as part of the uniform and/or allowing adaptations. Include a specific provision in the policy permitting
students to wear items of cultural or religious significance with, or instead of, 
uniform items (e.g. ie faitaga).

The Human Rights Commission

Build on cultural experiences

Build on cultural experiences

Draw on the rich and meaningful cultural experiences of Pacific learners for teaching and learning.

Value and share languages

Value and share languages

Teachers who value and share the languages Pacific learners bring into the classroom, while building English language skills, are supporting them to succeed.

Connect cultural heritage to learning

Connect cultural heritage to learning

Some practical ideas to try in your classroom

  • Invite students to bring an object or a photo from home that they can keep in the class, that best reflects their ethnic identity. This gives them physical space in the classroom for a connection from home.
  • Encourage the students and their families to translate some positive learning phrases into Pacific languages, for class use. Provide opportunities for Pacific learners who speak Pacific languages to teach the class some basic vocabulary. Translate key words into students' home languages
  • Establish classroom communication practices that include vocabulary from Pacific languages or Pacific cultural forms. For example, to gain attention use clapping sequences from Samoan culture (pati male po).
  • Learn to pronounce your students’ names correctly with their help. Model the correct pronunciation to the class. Encourage all students to use the correct pronunciation.
  • Identify how you can specifically include a Pacific component into curriculum topics, such as including holidays and festivals that are important to your Pacific learners in learning activities.
  • Engage with the Pacific school community and family to bring their knowledge and expertise into the school.

Foster students own language

Foster students own language

Rae Siʻilata, urges educators to create opportunities for students to bring their language into the classroom.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Pasifika dual language books

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Co-design a culturally sustaining environment”:

Return to the guide “Supporting Pacific learners”

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