ERIC Number: EJ728518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Family and Community Empowerment through Bilingual Education
Tuafuti, Patisepa; McCaffery, John
International Journal of Bilingual Education & Bilingualism, v8 n5 p480-503 2005
In recent years, numerous educational programmes have been developed that have been aimed at raising the academic achievement and wider participation of Pasifika students in New Zealand society. One example of this, which has to date only been explored at local school level, is bilingual/immersion education. The arguments underlying this paper are that while the development of bilingual/immersion education models are crucially important for the academic success of Pasifika students, they are not, in themselves, enough. A critical empowerment approach and perspective is also required in order to address the wider issues, and power relations, that inevitably frame, and delimit, the development of first language models of education for minority students in Aotearoa/New Zealand, as elsewhere. This paper begins by providing relevant background on Pasifika languages and educational achievement in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and related educational policy towards Pasifika students. The remainder of the paper focuses on a recently completed 10-year project involving the development of Samoan bilingual education at Finlayson Park Primary School, a primary (elementary) school in South Auckland. The project was developed by the authors in partnership with local Samoan families, community and the school, and was specifically underpinned by theoretical research-based models of empowerment. Discussion of this particular school highlights just what can be achieved when a critical empowerment approach to bilingual/immersion education is undertaken, not least when such a programme has been developed within a wider national educational policy environment that neither supports nor resources it.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Minority Groups, Empowerment, Malayo Polynesian Languages, Educational Policy, Bilingualism, Bilingual Education, Academic Achievement, Immersion Programs, Partnerships in Education, Primary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand