Students share ‘mother language’ and connect through stories

01 March 2024

Salvado Catholic College recognised the diverse cultures and backgrounds of its school community, by celebrating ‘International Mother Language Day’ for the first time on 21 February, mirroring the aim of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.”

At College level, students participated in various activities including greeting one another in a foreign language and students took turns to present age-appropriate stories in their mother tongue at the library.

Student, Aguen said she was grateful for the opportunity to share a snippet of her culture and heritage with her teachers and peers through a storybook she picked called ‘Stories from the Sudan, Dinka Folktales’ in her native language.

“My mother language is Dinka. I learned it from my mother. I felt proud in expressing the words in my language and showing others their meanings.”

“I learned Dinka from my mother and my grandma. When I was presenting it to the younger ones, it made me proud about my culture that I am embracing it teaching it to others,” student Susan added.

Principal Ian Hagan said welcoming families from all backgrounds is a core value at Salvado.

“Our families originate from all over the world. Some of our students were born in different countries, most were born here to parents who have immigrated from overseas. The number of languages our students read in, indicates the range of languages and dialects spoken by our students and their families.

“It is wonderful to be able to provide opportunities where the cultures and languages of all members of our community are acknowledged and celebrated in a fun and engaging way. We look forward to this event growing over the coming years.”

Below are the list of books read by students on Mother Language Day:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Wolf (Italian)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Handa’s Hen (Punjabi)
Where is Gola’s Home? Monday to Sunday (Hindi)
Telugu – Look Up and The Talkative Tortoise (Telegu)
The Rainbow Fish and The Little Prince (French)
Echidna Looks for a Friend, Four Sisters and The Legend of the Southern Cross (Noongar)
The Talkative Tortoise, No!, The Birdie Post (Malayalam)
Stories from the Sudan, Dinka Folktales (Dinka)
Samad in the Desert, Samad in the Forest (Shona)

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