Date
20 February 2019

Integrate Pasifika languages and practices into your classroom programme

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

Connect cultural heritage to learning

Connect cultural heritage to learning

  • Invite students to bring an object 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. 
  • As a class, choose some phrases in English that encourage positive learning behaviour. Encourage the students and their families to translate these phrases into Pasifika languages. When Pasifika learners see that their languages have a place in the classroom, they will know that they, too, are valued.
  • Encourage students to bring a photo from home that represents who they are. Invite students to display these photos in the classroom and add written descriptions to the images.
  • 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.

Build on cultural experiences

Build on cultural experiences

Draw on the rich and meaningful cultural experiences of Pasifika students for teaching and learning.

Value and share languages

Value and share languages

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

Design responsive learning contexts

Design responsive learning contexts

Creating culturally responsive learning contexts and co-constructing learning enables every student to bring their experiences into the classroom.

  • Provide opportunities for Pasifika students who speak Pacific languages to teach the class some basic vocabulary.
  • Include holidays and festivals that are important to your Pasifika students in learning activities.
  • Establish classroom communication practices that include vocabulary from Pasifika languages or Pasifika cultural forms. For example, to gain attention use clapping sequences from Samoan culture (pati male po).
  • Support Pasifika students to understand new vocabulary or unfamiliar instructions by providing visual cues and translating key words into their home languages.
  • Identify how you can specifically include a Pacific component into curriculum topics.
  • Engage with the Pasifika 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

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Build a culturally responsive environment”:

Return to the guide “Supporting Pasifika students”

Top