Monday, May 14, 2012

Multilingual Story Time Session - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Bilingual Families Perth is planning another multilingual story time session for Wednesday, 24 October 2012 which happens to coincide with United Nations Day. Also 2012 has been declared as the National Year of Reading. Our target audience are pre-school children, their parents, carers and grand-parents.
Building on prior good experience during our story time session for International Mother Language Day 2012 we have decided to repeat the event with another reading of Eric Carle's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". A creative activity for pre-schoolers and morning tea will also be part of the morning event.

We love this colourful and simple book. It gives a phantastic opportunity to learn, repeat and practice the colours and lower numbers in many languages. Last time we read the book in German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.  This time we hope to add a few more community languages, including Chinese, Italian, Hebrew and Indonesian. We will actually read it in as many languages as we can organise native speakers to be part of the event.

We also would like to initiate simultaneous story time sessions all over Australia on this book. Last time we only used the big book in English to show the pages. Following each page the native speaker reads out the words in the native language as the pages were turned by the reader or by a helper. It worked very well and was a good way to overcome difficulties in locating the actual physical book in the other languages.

The book was originally written in German. Watch Eric Carle himself read the book in German "Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt."

The book has been translated into at least 49 languages. We found texts in various languages on the internet and here are some of the resources we used:

Here is a lovely French version of "La chenille qui fait des trou"

Here is the Spanish version: Oruga Muy Hambrienta

The Portuguese title is "A lagartinha comilona". The pages are available here:
This page has several activities around the theme and story of the book
Please leave links to any additional resources on public pages as a comment below and also tell us if you are repeating such event in any other library in Australia or elsewhere.

Many thanks
Irma from Bilingual Families Perth

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Global Greens Congress, Dakar 2012, Senegal

The Global Greens held their third congress in Dakar, Senegal, hosted by the African Greens Network, from 28 March to 1 April 2012. I arrived in Senegal on Friday a week before the congress and spent some time exploring Dakar, but as well helped with the information, registration and language session for the young volunteers from the Senegalese Greens (Fédération Démocratique des Ecologistes du Sénégal (FEDES) prior to the congress.
Once the congress began, the first two days were committed to the Regional Network meetings, and the Global Young Greens. I only attended the first session of the network meeting where APGN members contributed summing up in a few minutes the most recent greens development in their country. I was surprised that not all APGN members were actually proper political parties, but some of them were environmental groups currently under stringent discussions whether they actually should seek party status in their country and what negative ramifications such a move would have.
My main role was to look after 17 members of the Asia Pacific Greens Network (APGN) including people from The Philippines, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Salomon Islands, PNG, Vietnam and Indonesia. What a diversity of people and what a similarity of issues; what a friendly bunch of delegates with a green heart and a passion for the green cause. Lots of things needed to be sorted as one of my roles was to assist the APGN delegates with any issues they might have; and there were many: lost luggage, vaccination issues, unwanted smells (we lived very close to the fishing harbour), issues with water, transport and food for vegetarians.
Furthermore everything happened in French. It’s not my native tongue but I speak it well and benefited from the German education system which made me learn French from year 7 in High School. This education gave me the basic language knowledge to survive; and the many years travelling in French speaking countries gave me the vernacular and the experience to thrive.
As everything went so well and people were very happy I was roped in by Margaret Blakers, the ‘mother’ of the Global Greens, to support the Resolutions Committee, where I worked especially with John Sutton from Newcastle. This required much negotiating, language switching and hands-on work with computer, paper and sticky tape.
The main themes for the Global Greens Congress and its 500 participants from nearly 90 countries were:            
1.       The Future of the Global Greens (including updating the Global Greens Charter)
2.       Climate Change
3.       Biodiversity
4.       Green Economy
5.       Democracy in Africa (and beyond)
Most resolutions were passed by consensus. They are now publicly available here:
The Australian Greens also held a stall to raise additional money for the Global Greens. The stall was very popular, and we could have sold many t-shirts and many more badges had we had more. Leonie Lundy from WA gave some of her time as a volunteer on the stall and the equivalent of 290 was raised.
My travel and participation at the Congress as a volunteer was paid for by the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program (APDDP) under the Global Greens Congress Skills Exchange Program that aims to enhance the communication and collaboration between greens parties in the Asia Pacific Region. Unfortunately, due to the amount of work that needed to be done at the Congreee, I was only able to attend the workshop which I facilitated on RIO+20 and the main session on the last day.
I am very proud of the outcome of the RIO+2- workshop, as the final resolution defines the Greens vision of an Inclusive Green Economy after long negotiations as an economy that -
         i.            Incorporates the true costs of increasingly scarce natural resources and recognises the value of common goods and services of nature;
       ii.            Adopts innovative technology and eco-efficient and low carbon practices;
      iii.            Commits to durable goods and the end of inbuilt obsolescence;
     iv.            Proposes new forms of organisation of solidarity economy creating new bottom-up opportunities for all and investing in education;
       v.            Shifts from consumer-based economies to a focus on wellbeing, culture and healthier communities, with the full participation of civil society;
     vi.            Must be inclusive and reduce inequalities and poverty.

The final session was very positive, and often interrupted by claps and cheers. Delegates from across the world were coming together to decide on the resolutions which demonstrated the sense of our Green tribe working together for common goals, with common values, and a common sense of social justice and a green future.
Without French language skills this experience would not have been the same. I consider myself very lucky to be able to speak more than one language well.