Kids – speak your language or lose it
Children need to keep their family language as it is a vital part of identity and culture, says English Language
Partners New Zealand (ELPNZ).
The organisation is supporting parents to encourage their children to speak to them in their own language. This is also
the message of International Mother Language Day, 21 February.
Nicola Sutton, Chief Executive, English Language Partners New Zealand (ELPNZ) says language is a huge part of culture.
“It is how we express ourselves. This can be a significant part of settling well in a new country. But we know it can be
hard for parents to ensure their children are able to speak their own language. You want your kids to do well in school
and fit in,” says Ms Sutton.
ELPNZ’s centres will be acknowledging International Mother Language Day around the country.
They join with Community Languages Association of New Zealand (CLANZ) for the celebrations supporting families to
maintain multilingual homes.
ELPNZ encourages parents to keep their family language alive. A vibrant poster featuring ‘Partners in Learning’ in 31
languages, including English, Māori and NZ Sign is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Mother Language Day represents the day in 1952 in Pakistan when students demonstrated for recognition of
their language, Bangla. The students were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
English Language Partners New Zealand delivers a range of programmes through its nationwide centres to assist with
community and workplace English language.