Finally certified in Language Teaching

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Graduation at the Great Hall, University of Sydney

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Relief completing the course and receiving my certificate in Community Languages Teaching

ʻIkai ke ʻi ai he lea feʻunga ke fai ʻeku houngaʻia he lava lelei ʻeku ako ka ko e fakamālō pē.

Te u hiki ‘a hoku le’o ke fai ʻaki ha fakamālō. Lea pe ʻeku leaʼ, mālō ʻEiki ʻa hoʻo ʻofa.

Last week, I was honoured to receive my certificate in Community languages teaching at University of Sydney. Words can not express my gratitude and all I can do is to thank the one above for his blessings. When I began this blog over a year ago, never had I imagined I would be a qualified Community Languages Teacher teaching my own class. This course has helped immensely focus my scattered brain of one and a half billion ideas. I look forward to posting more this year. Using my ideas and resources in class and sharing them for you all.

Tuʻa ʻofa atu Hema

Ko feinga pē: All we can do is TRY!

Life is such a battle for many. No matter what communities we live in rich or poor we all have our own challenges. Growing up there are several words or phrases you constantly hear from your parents, grandparents and Tongan society.

  1. Ko e fonua masiva (Tonga is a poor country).
  2. Ako ke lahi. Study hard.
  3. Lotu ke lahi. Pray diligently.

But unlike the teens here at Roosevelt High, we had role models to look up to, expectations of our parents and the prayers of our grandparents that we build our families, communities and contribute back. But what of those kids featured on this clip. How many kids are out there with no support. Who have lost there way, feel disconnected or have no sense of purpose. All I can say is pray and be prepared. Don’t say no to the opportunities that come a knocking, give it a try. That is all we can do in life. We do not have to be confined to the stereotypes society tells us will be our future. Watching this clip reminds me of one of my favourite hymn verses, we all have worth we must stand up and be counted and with support of people like Coach we can value, encourage and protect that treasure.

Tama Tonga, tu’u ‘o ngāue,
Ho koloa ke fakamonū.
Lotu ki he ‘Eiki ma’u pē,
Ke ne poupou ki he lotu
‘O malu’i,
‘O malu’i ‘a Tupou

Tongan man, stand up and work,
your treasure must be expressed.
Pray to the Lord always,
for his support in prayer
To protect,
To protect Tupou.

Click to hear Hymn 391 

Best poetic memorial stone: Ko hai au ke u tuhu ki he laʻaá?

FonuaMemorialStone

Pic curteousy of Lisa Strnad. Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park Colleyvillw Texas USA

 

“TULOU MOE NGAAHI FĀ KAKALA

KO HAI AU KE U TUHU KI HE LAʻAÁ?

NE U SILAʻI KOE ʻI HE ʻOLITA

PUKE ʻETA FUAKAVA KI HE TAʻENGATA”

This has to be the most beautiful poetic memorial stone/ bench I have come across. Ok some background knowledge you may need in understanding the beauty of this memorial stone for Tony Andy Fonua (1955-2004).

In Tongan poetry ʻkakalaʼ or the sweet smelling flowers are used as a metaphor for people. The use of the metaphor “FĀ KAKALA” gives a timeframe of when he died which is during the reign of King Taufāʻahau Tupou IV. Therefore the author gives ode/ respect to the Four chiefly flowers of his country Tupou I-IV. The second line gives the notion of the sun being sacred they dare not question the sun for the predicament that they are in. They were joined together at the altar which gives the author of this piece as the widow. The “fuakava” is an important ʻkavaʼ term in the Tongan culture. It is the first cup taken as a solemn vow, you are not culturally married until you take the ʻfuakava maliʼ. Therefor they were joined at the altar and will hold their fuakava vow for eternity. The translation is as follows

“DEEPEST RESPECTS TO FOUR CHIEFLY FLOWERS (PAST & PRESENT TUPOU I-IV)

WHO AM I TO POINT AT THE SUN?

I WAS JOINED WITH YOU AT THE ALTAR

HOLDING OUR MATRIMONIAL VOW FOR ETERNITY”

Did you like this? Let me know or share. Mālō Tuʻa ʻofa atu

My first ebook in Tongan: The Hungry Little Mouse

As promised, I have finally uploaded my first ebook onto youtube. This has been such a labour of love made only possible with faith that the Tongan Language School (Sydney) had in me. The goal was to make an engaging resource that our digital kids today would like. My kids gave it the two thumbs up so iʼm hopeful that you guys will to.

Tips on how to use this as a resource:

  1. Please share with all your family, friends, and Tongan language teachers you know.
  2. Play it for your kids or nephews & nieces, and practise speaking
  3.  If you can, mute it and read it allowed. Iʼm sure your voice will be much more better than mine.
  4. Get your kids thinking in Tongan or English with some questions like what do you think is going to happen? Ko e hā meʻa ʻe hoko mai? What do you think happens to the mouse at the end? Ko e hā meʻa ʻe hoko ki he kumaá?
  5. Learn the days of the week by asking sequence questions What did the mouse eat on Monday? Ko e hā meʻa ne kai e kumaá he ʻaho Mōnite?

Did you like it? Share your thoughts

Ka ʻi ai ha tō nounou pea kātakiʻi pe au. Hangē ko e lau ko e feinga pe maʻae fānau ke nau maʻu ha loto fiefia ʻo kau ai mo ha ako ki he lea faka-Tongá.

Fakafeta‘i: Praise the Lord

This youtube clip is a great example of how we Sāmoans and Tongans learn back in the Islands. No matter where we are at Church or at School, singing and dancing is part of our DNA, instilled in us at a young age. Now most of us would be living far away from the Kingdom leading a western lifestyle but this is how we should approach our learning of the language. Making it fun. Boys should not be passively learning. And everyone is involved.  Sing-a-long now!

Samoan verse -
Ua ou sau te vivi’i le ali’i
Ae pe fa’apefea oe
Ua ou sau te vivi’i le ali’i
Ae pe fa’apefea oe
Ua ou sau te vivi’i le ali’i
Ae pe fa’apefea oe

Alelu, Alelu, Aleluia !!

English verse –
I don’t know what you came to do
But I came to praise The Lord
I don’t know what you came to do
But I came to praise The Lord
I don’t know what you came to do
But I came to praise The Lord

Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah !!

5 Reasons your children are not speaking in Tongan

5 reasons why your child is not speaking in Tongan

I read a great article on Multilingual living and decided to put together a TOP 5 REAONS why your children are not speaking in Tongan. In my own experience with my children these are the 5 top reasons why they were not speaking in Tongan. So you want your children to speak in Tongan but you are finding it very challenging. Consider these 5 reasons as to why or what is holding your child back. Same reasons here apply to anyone learning the Tongan language not just children.

1. Ongo fiemālie (Feel comfortable):

Do your children feel comfortable to speak the language? Are they continually getting told off to speak in Tongan by you the parent or grandparents? Do they get ridiculed for their speaking or lack of speaking abilities at school, by friends, at church. You need to encourage them and make them feel comfortable and it starts at home. As an example, I tried to give them positive experiences by reading the English bedtime stories in Tongan. I would also make my kids laugh with silly songs I made up for them.

2. Ngaahi tohi mo e naunau he lea faka-Tonga (Resources)

Do they have access to a wide range of learning materials in the Tongan language. This will continue to be a problem as there are no (in my opinion) interesting books or learning material in the Tongan language for children. Keep an eye out for the ebook (The Hungry little mouse) coming out soon on youtube.

3. ʻOku fakahā kita? (Exposure)

Are your children being exposed enough to the Tongan language. There may not be enough reading resources for children but they can listen to the language. There are plenty of digital radio programmes, Tongan songs and Tongan news all on youtube. While youʼre doing chores at home, play it in the background.

4. ʻOku fakalata? (Is it enjoyable?)

Is speaking in Tongan enjoyable for your children. Do they find it interesting or difficult and boring? Play games using the Tongan language will help make it enjoyable. Play cards, find items around the house, sing songs.

5. ʻOku i ai ha fiemaʻu? (Is there a need?)

Is there a need for them to speak in Tongan. Do they have grandparents or parents that can speak to Tongan to them? Are they part of a Tongan speaking Congregation? Are they in a language class that they need to speak in Tongan? Will they be visiting Tonga anytime soon?  If they see no apparent need to learn they will find it more difficult.

Did you find this useful? let me know.

Is ‘plastic’ the new norm?

Is ‘plastic’ the new norm?.

Ko e fehu’i mālie eni ‘a Alando Soakai. A very interesting question by Alando Soakai. 

Have you been called ‘plastic’ because you speak more English than your native tongue?

Other terms used to address you and your identity for not speaking the language is a pālangi (foreigner) or fie pālangi (want to be a foreigner). Considering there are more Tongans living outside the Kingdom is plastic the new norm? Great article into his own experience which I know many can relate to. Click on the link to check it out. Is ‘plastic’ the new norm?.

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