2015 a year of learning

At this time of year I like to remind myself and all the entire Tongan Language School of how much they have achieved in 2015. So I created this video. Kids always love to see themselves in videos. I then challenged my family to write down their new goals. Amongst our new family goals is to speak more in Tongan. To consciously catch ourselves when we speak in English. To make more opportunities to use our language. What one Tongan word will describe 2016 for you? Will it be ako (learn, learning). For me it will be the word “va’inga” (play). To be more playful, to incorporate more play-based learning into my lessons. 2016 will be a year to play.

‘Ofa ke mou ma’u ha ta’u fo’ou fiefia.

Tu’a ‘ofa atu Hema

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.

The importance of speaking in Tongan

Mahuʻinga ʻo e lea faka-Tonga.

This is an interview of Lady Fielakepa on the importance of speaking in Tongan. Her story would resonate with many Tongan families as it does with me.

She points to the old belief of her parents that education was important and in order to achieve it one had to be proficient in the English language. Which is great but the downfall of that was the demise of her Tongan language skills. She realised her own shortcomings and has since then strived to improve her own language skills and pushed her own kids and grandchildren to learn Tongan first.

The new belief is to teaching kids at an early age Tongan first. I am definitely encouraged knowing that Lady Fielakepa who is quite knowledgeable in Tongan culture is still a student  using the dictionary and continually learning from others about the Tongan language.