The short-term impact
At 3 years old, Nina is not in preschool yet. She is very shy as she doesn’t know many other children yet and, as for many children her age, Covid restrictions have been in place for two-thirds of her life. As a result, she is hesitant to speak Portuguese with her mum outside of their home and mostly speaks English like her dad, who is Irish.
Just like Nina’s mum, Monica, the Language Explorers facilitator, Fernanda, comes from Brazil. Fernanda spoke in Portuguese to Nina during the workshop. At first, Nina was reluctant to speak back and she hid behind her mum.
Language Explorers workshops are aimed at offering children and parents a space to engage with their family language outside the home in a fun way, and as the workshop progressed Nina slowly gained confidence. By the end, Nina confidently and excitedly explained her family box story in Portuguese to Fernanda.
“She understands Portuguese and will speak with me when we are alone, but never outside the home. When I saw her talking to Fernanda in Portuguese at the end of the workshop, I couldn’t believe it!”
Monica found it very inspiring that the workshop gave her daughter Nina the confidence to speak in Portuguese to other people. The Language Explorers workshop showed Nina that there are other children who also speak languages other than English.
“I think the Language Explorers workshop helped Nina feel normal”, says Nina’s mum.