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Fiji Language Week

Fijian Language Week runs from the 8th October until 14th October 2017 

Bula Vinaka!

Fiji Language Week provides an opportunity for students to learn, speak, and celebrate the indigenous language of Fiji, through language, song, dance, cultural displays, and community events. Fiji Language Week helps all New Zealanders journey towards shared cultural understandings. Learning a new language gives us insight into new ways of thinking, and to different beliefs and cultural practices.

Learning a new language extends students’ linguistic and cultural understanding and their ability to interact appropriately with other speakers. Interaction in a new language, whether face to face or technologically facilitated, introduces them to new ways of thinking about, questioning, and interpreting the world and their place in it. Through such interaction, students acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that equip them for living in a world of diverse peoples, languages, and cultures.
The New Zealand Curriculum, p 24.

How can your school get involved?

Words and phrases you can try:

Hello – Ni sa bula (nee sahm boola) or bula (mboola) for short

Goodbye – Ni sa moce (nee sa mo-they)

Good morning – Ni sa yadra (nee sa yandra)

Yes – Io (ee-o)

No – Sega (senga)

Please – Yalo vinaka (yalo vee-nahka)

Excuse me – Tolou (too low)

Thank you – Vinaka (vee-nahka)

Basic Fijian language lessons
This website has language lessons for everyday conversations.

Learn Fijian words
This video will help students learn the correct pronunciation of words and phrases.

Tips on Fijian language pronunciation 

• The letter "a" is pronounced "ah" as in father.

• Any word with a "d" has an unwritten "n" in front of it, so the city Nadi is pronounced "Nah-ndi."

• The letter "b" is pronounced as "mb" like in bamboo, especially when it is in the middle of a word.

• Similarly, in certain words with a "g," there is an unwritten "n" in front of it, so sega ("no") is pronounced "senga,"

• The letter "c" is pronounced "th," so "moce," meaning goodbye, is pronounced "moe-they."

Suggested classroom activities

Let’s Meke!
Learn about the meke, an indigenous Fijian song/dance that is performed by both men and women. 

Whale tooth tales
Understand the significance of tabua, a type of Fijian cultural valuable, made from polished whales’ teeth attached to a braided cord.

Pacific sounds
Listen to traditional sounds from Fiji and compare them with the modern pacific sound of Che Fu in this unit of work from the wicked website.

Kiwi Kidsongs – Warm Pacific Greetings
Learn and sing Warm Pacific Greetings which features a number of greetings in different Pasifika languages. Please note that you need to register for an education sector logon to access Digistore resources.

Pasifika digital legends
Listen to digital legends based on traditional stories from the Pacific. They have been selected and retold, in English and Pasifika languages, by New Zealand students.

Supporting Resources

Pasifika education community
This TKI site has resources, curriculum links, and guidelines for teachers working alongside Pasifika communities.

LEAP
LEAP is a professional learning resource developed for teachers working in mainstream New Zealand classrooms with bilingual Pasifika students.

Inclusive Education Guides for Schools – Supporting Pasifika students
This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Pasifika students.

Digital stories

Fijian language celebrated in New Zealand.
In this episode from TVNZ’s Tangata Pasifika, students of Fijian descent connect with their language and cultural roots.

Effective teaching for Pasifika students – Language
This film shows the benefits of valuing and sharing the languages that Pasifika students bring with them into the classroom.  

Updated on: 03 Oct 2016


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