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ESOL Online weekly update, Pasifika HSP, Tokelau language Week

Happy Tokelau Language Week

Mālo ni and welcome to Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau . The theme this year,"Taofi ke mau ki tau aganuku Tokelau"or hold fast to your Tokelauan Treasures.  

The above information on Tokelau Language week comes from, Puttingthe ‘e’ in Pasifika, ANTHONY FAITAUA’s  blogspot, where you will also find further information . He has a number of posts of interest to ESOL teachers so you may like to follow him.  

As part of CEM this week there is a TWITTER CHAT opportunity: Tokelau Language Week (#gaganatokelau),join the discussion to deepen your knowledge and awareness.


Learning with digital technologies for Maori and Pasifika learners

The learning with digital technologies for Maori and Pasifika learners pages on the VLN are also worth following. Anaru White’s latest post is Learn Create and Share using Padlet.


Connecting schools with the Pasifika Education Plan Webinar

Today- October 28 from 4-5 there is a webinar on Connecting schools with the Pasifika Education Plan as part of Connected Educator Month.  For details see this link . This would be a great opportunity to think about how your school supports Pasifika learners and to hear about what some schools are doing.


Pasifika Home-school Partnerships

For the next few weeks I am focusing on Home-School Partnerships (HSP). I will share several  ideas and resources hoping that you will use them to reflect on what you school is doing to engage with your diverse communities, with the idea of making some changes for 2014. If you are too busy now then please save and bookmark them so that you can find them at the appropriate time.  To kick start this focus I shared a post by a Christchurch teacher, Judith Anthony on,  Strategies that I have found successful in engaging with parents from diverse communities or here in the group pages see Judith Anthony's page.

A blogspot that I like to read is ManuScript by Manu Faaea-Semeatu . In her latest blogpost she looks at “How do Pasifika definitions of giftedness differ from the Western concepts of giftedness?” In examining this question she also raises some interesting thoughts and ideas on developing strong connections with Pasifika families which I would like to share with you.  I encourage you to read her post in order to understand this more fully.

 “Asking Pasifika peoples the right questions about what they value within their cultures, languages and identities will ensure that you will be able to craft programmes that provide appropriate levels of support.” Often, “Pasifika parents are still not as present or visible at the school.  Sometimes this may be because parents lack the confidence to be proactive and become champions of their children's learning.”

Manu suggests that, you will not be able to create programmes of provision for Pasifika learners without first establishing a relationship by getting to know the parents and caregivers.  Being open, honest and showing that you care about Pasifika learners - show parents, families and communities that you have a vested interest in their child(ren)'s future. 

Manu shares her top 5 qualities that Pasifika parents, families and communities appreciate based on her experience as a practitioner and researcher in a teacher:

1. Being explicit about the strengths that their child has

2. Emphasising the learning rather than the behaviour of students

3. Asking about the gifts that their children display at home and in their extended communities

4. Encouraging them to be involved in sharing their cultural strengths within the gifted programme

5. Understanding that they have every right to demand and expect the best education for their child. 


Reflection Questions- here are a few questions I have developed to help you start reflecting on what you currently do but please add your own.

1.       How present or visible are Pasifika parents in your school?

2.       Do Pasifika students at your school have opportunities to share their cultural giftedness and knowledge?

3.       Are your Pasifika parents present at parent interviews and engaged in their child’s learning?

4.       Do they know how to support their child’s learning at home?

5.       How do you communicate with your Pasifika families and does this seem to be working? What more could you try? Are translations needed? Use of digital? Is the time and place appropriate? etc

6.       How could you involve Pasifika parents in shaping the curriculum/teaching programme?

7.       Is the school welcoming and is the culture reflected around the school and in your interactions?

8.       If you could change one thing what would be your main focus?

Next step - Develop some goals around the identified focus and an action plan to implement for the 2015 school year?


Our primary ESOL community

Thank you to David, Andrew and Lori, and Breda who all made suggestions to Georgina on some digital ways to support hew new Spanish speaking student. I love seeing our community in action supporting each other.

Julie Luxtons' upcoming talk at WATESOL on Enhancing Pasifika Student Writing Achievement on 12th November will be a great PLD learning opportunity.  

Michelle Johansson shared her Pasifika Update  and alerted us to a new Samoan Heroes resource.

Help Valma please - In response to Michelle’s post  on David Riley, Valma shared that in Samoa they face the same dilemma of not having a lot of reading materials.  She would like details on the procurement of any primary level reading materials for their students.

TESSOL scholarships the closing date is 31st October. Please encourage your mainstream and ESOL colleagues to give this serious consideration as these are wonderful courses that open a wealth of opportunities for teachers and their students.

If you are new to our community then please introduce yourself on the padlet community page I recently created http://padlet.com/pandjmcq/gef3nemyta2h . This will help me to know you better and provide some topic ideas for my weekly updates.


Other Communities


·         Literacy assessment

·         Writing competitions

·         Discussed the overuse of WALTs (What we are learning today statements) 

Secondary Literacy

·         Help with readers for and ESOL bookclub

Do enjoy the rest of your week. 
Kind regards