Bilingual teaching creates bases to better learn other languages - Herminia Caridade Manhiça
- Teacher at Chicoachana Primary and Secondary School, 3 de Fevereiro town, Manhiça district
Herminia Caridade Manhiça is 35 years old, a teacher for 11 years and likes her work, despite the 30km she travels every morning from home to school in the early hours, she is not discouraged.
"I like what I do and it is gratifying to see that our selfless effort and the sacrifice of waking up with the roosters in the early hours of the day and leaving the house still dark, is compensated at the end of the year, obtainaining positive pedagogical results” she says.
Grade 1 teacher, she wakes up every day at 4:45 am and leaves Manhiça town before 5:30 to start class at 6:30. Hermínia has a class of grade 1 students with a little more students. In fact, she tells us that in recent years she has been working with this universe of students and despite his high numbers, her classes have had a performance ranging from 50 to 60 percent before the introduction of bilingual education.
"I am convinced that this year we will surpass this number, since we introduced bilingual education with the support of the School Feeding Program, I see great interaction in the classroom between the students and between them and me teacher. This is the result of the great relaxation they feel because they can communicate in a language that they dominate", said Hermínia.
According to our interlocutor, before the introduction of bilingual education in their school, the children were shy, as for most of them, this is the first opportunity to learn the Portuguese language. However, she says, despite the innumerable advantages of this methodology, not everything is a bed of roses.
"Initially we faced difficulties because some of the parents, knowing that their children learned first in their own language, complained that one of the purposes for which they enrolled their children is to see them learn the official language in order to have more opportunities and escape the family history, full of cases of frustrated attempts to coexist because they do not know how to speak the official language", she arguemented further.
Our interviewee explained to us that the school has done a great job of raising awareness and has convinced those in charge, showing the preliminary results and they end up accepting.
Looking at the contours of this challenge of making a large number of students proficient in reading and writing, she highlighted the great importance that books play. "Books are a great asset to the teaching and learning process. With them we give visible examples of what we speak. There are some challenges in mathematics because there are some differences in the pronunciation of the numbers and the objects corresponding to those numbers, but it is not something that is inescapable."
Finally, teacher Hermínia showed satisfaction with the evolution that the process is witnessing, one of the aspects of greater emphasis being on the comments of those in charge who have been saying that the children already read the bible, which only proves that this teaching is efficient.
"A child who knows how to read and write in their language, easily learns other languages. But this is not the only advantage: there are some professions that require the use of local languages", she said.