This vignette shares how Early Childhood Educators embrace the challenges and the gift of cultural and linguistic diversity within their services.    

In this clip Jessica, Kelly and Jasmine share their learnings from the Leading Learning Circles for Educators Engaged in Study training facilitated by Griffith University.  

Transcript

Embracing the challenges of cultural and linguistic diversity within a service: QCOSS Embrace

We have a really huge Sudanese community and we have a huge Pacific Island community as well. Knowing who they are is me thinking that I’m culturally, like I’ve got some culture in my centre. But it’s actually after doing this I found out that it’s actually a lot more than that.

Kelly Dykes: And for me I always had this concern that I don’t know enough about that culture so how do I incorporate them, how do I help them to feel comfortable 

Jessica Connors: Some of the Indian families have not long come over so it’s just learning about their culture and incorporating that into our centre. 

Working with language barriers:

Kelly Dykes: We have some families that are from a refugee background.  That are very new to this country.  So that sort of thing is really hard because we have quite a lot of language barriers there.  

Jasmine Williams: That was a challenge for me too. Because how do I communicate with someone who speaks a different language and also how do I tell the families what they have been doing for the day and communicate and how do we work together from their home environment to provide it at the centre when we can’t communicate.

Kelly Dykes: Sometimes we have support workers that can come with those families and they have some knowledge of that language but yeah it’s hard.

The gift of bilingual/bicultural staff:

Jasmine Williams: At my centre we’re lucky because all our staff/educators all have second language ...  I’m lucky to be part of the recruit team, when we do recruit new educators in our centre, because we recruit people who have that second language – a gift that helps everyone.  So we have an Indian lady, a Thai lady, Bolognese, Sudan so we have all different cultures and then there’s me and I speak half Raro half Samoan.  So when the New Zealand community come in or the Pacific Island community come in I know how they act with their children so it helps with that.  

Kelly Dykes: And other staff can pull from that. I’m very lucky too we have other staff within the community centre attached to the occasional child care centre so we can pull from those staff. Yeah and that helps.

Jasmine Williams: You see some of the relief on some of the families when they do see someone from their community – especially when their child is upset. First thing I’m doing is running around the child care centre to find someone who can help me – Who speaks Bolognese? Who speaks Bolognese? So it helps.

Acknowledgements: 

This vignette shows participants learning and reflections from “Circle of Change Revisited”.

Camera Operator and Sound Recordist: Ranu James

Production Assistant: Cherie Lamb

Director/Editor: Ranu James

EMBRACE Culture in Kindy and Program with the Queensland Council of Social Service 

Interviews by: Lari Stojcevska, Kingston East Neighbourhood Group Inc.

Thanks to:

  • Kerry Smith, Associate Lecturer and Marilyn Casley, Associate Lecturer, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University
  • Jessica Connors, Lead Educator, Good Start Early Learning Centre, Daisy Hill
  • Kelly Dykes, Director, Occasional Care Child Care Centre, Kingston East Neighbourhood group
  • Jasmine Williams, Pre-kindy Lead Educator, Active Kids Early Learning Child Care Centre, Logan Central

Leading Learning Circles for Educators Engaged in Study training facilitated by Griffith University

Supported by:

  • Kingston East Neighbourhood Group Inc.
  • EMBRACE Culture in Kindy
  • Queensland Council of Social Service 

We would like to acknowledge that this film was developed and filmed on the land of the Yugambeh, Jagera and Turrbal nations. 

Leading Learning Circles for Educators Engaged in Study can be found on the Griffith University website.

Share or Print