The Joy of Having a Book in Your Own Language: Home Language Books in a Refugee Education Centre

Nicola Daly, Libby Limbrick
2020 Education Sciences  
In 2018, Aotearoa/New Zealand increased its annual refugee quota to 1000. When refugees arrive in Aotearoa/New Zealand they spend six weeks in a resettlement programme. During this time, children attend an introduction to schooling. First language (L1) literacy support for children experiencing education in a medium that is not their Home Language has been identified as essential for children's educational success. This knowledge is reflected in Principle 4 of the International Literacy
more » ... al Literacy Association's Children's Rights to Read campaign, which states that "children have the right to read texts that mirror their experiences and languages...". In 2018, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)-Yamada Foundation granted funding to IBBY in Aotearoa/New Zealand (IBBYNZ)/Storylines to supply books in the Home Languages of the refugee children in the introduction to school programme. Over 350 books were sourced in a range of languages including Farsi, Arabic, Tamil, Punjabi, Burmese, Karen, Chin, and Spanish. In this article, the sourcing of these books and their introduction to children in a refugee resettlement programme is described. Interviews with five teachers in the resettlement programme concerning the use of the books and how children and their families have been responding are reported. Future programme developments are outlined.
doi:10.3390/educsci10090250 fatcat:lzflusqddffktoxouboyfu4a4y