The 2015 – 2017 government funding investment in Asian Language Learning in Schools (ALLiS) was a great initiative for the VLN Primary that enabled us to further develop our programmes.

10 schools signed up with the VLN Primary Asian Language Project covering the length of New Zealand. Foundation ALLiS schools were Mangere Central School, Paparimu School (Auckland & district), Moanataiari School (Thames), Oakura, Marco, Matapu Schools (Taranaki) Apiti, and Makuri Schools (Lower North Island), Putorino School (East Coast), and Halfmoon Bay School (Stewart Island).

These schools collaborated to develop a programme that provided for face to face as well as virtual learning (blended learning), with a focus on culture as well as language and global connections and that accesses the strengths in our local communities.

eTeachers of Mandarin, Japanese and Korean were employed and shared across participating schools; as are Mandarin Language Assistants provided by the Confucius Institute, Auckland. Older students are also tutoring younger students in Tagalog – the native language of the Phillipines, through the ‘Over the Back Fence’ initiative organised by Rosmini College.

Key aspects of the programme were growing NZ teachers’ capability in our schools, creating curriculum and learning resources, strengthening community partnerships and in developing pathways of learning for students wherever they are based.