NEW GLASGOW — Language fairs are a good way for young people to learn more about languages other than English, Nanda Shirke says.
Shirke, an educator and a member of the Multicultural Association of Pictou County organized a novel language fair which the association sponsored in the gymnasium of New Glasgow Academy, one of the local schools where she teaches languages.
Her actual position is as an additional language teacher, a part-time position created for the Celtic Family of Schools. G. R. Saunders and Dr. W.A. MacLeod are among other schools she provides the same service. She eventually hopes to share her services with all the Celtic Family schools, which are located in Pictou County
“The purpose of the language fair was to celebrate diversity in schools and celebrate the languages in schools,” she said. “(NGA) is where I spend most of my time. This school is where most of my students are, so I think it’s a good way to celebrate language and celebrate the students.”
The language fair allowed students to have their names written in the different languages so that they could see the difference.
NGA students with parent volunteers represented the 12 display tables that featured American Sign Language, as well as Mi’Kmaq, French, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Hindi, Turkish and Irish Gaelic. There was also Bangla, the language of Bangladesh, Inbo, the language of Nigeria and Tagalog, which is spoken in the Phillipines.
Marlee Morris and Alysia DeYoung enjoyed visiting the various displays.
“It’s pretty nice to have the names from different countries,” Morris said.
“I like how you can get names written in different languages,” DeYoung said.
Shirke is looking forward to growing the program and getting more people to appreciate its value.
“This is the first time I’ve done this,” she said. “It’s really great to have the kids own it. NGA is really good to encourage this, and I think we should make this grow to other schools and add other languages.”
The NGA event was for its students and staff, while a community language fair has been scheduled for the New Glasgow Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 30.
From left: Mahbab Rahman hands Marlee Morris her card with her name written in Bangla, the language of Bangladesh. Seated with Rahman is NGA student Raiga Abrar, while standing with Morris is Alysia DeYoung. (Goodwin photo)