At Pathshala Bangla School, when Sharmistha wanted to record her students’ achievement in speaking, she naturally thought of using video; there are always smart phones and cameras around. Next Sharmistha tackled how to share students’ achievements with family and community, and for this she turned to social media. Sharmistha says
We were looking for a gateway where we can communicate with the whole community and showcase the progress of our students. Considering the fact that most of our community members use Facebook for social networking, it seemed a very good idea to create a Facebook page.
This page gives us opportunity to publish performances of students and encourage them to do better in future. Parents are also very happy to see their children on the website. While we were celebrating Mothers’ Day at PBS this year, we told mums that they had surprises waiting on the Facebook page. I can bet that they did not expect such a nice surprise: videos of their kids talking about their mums in Bengali!
The PBS Facebook page is taking the message to prospective parents in the community who are inspiring their children to learn Bengali as a second language. It has also reached out to Bengali speaking people from India (West Bengal) living in Perth. Some of them have shared our post to their Facebook pages. This is truly inspiring to our teachers and parents and we are getting new students in almost every term during the year.
Can you imagine the joy, the smiles, maybe some tears as the lucky mothers of these students watched as their children used their language to communicate the love they have for their mothers?
Have a look for yourself.
Community Languages WA thanks Sharmistha for sharing her story. If you have a teaching and learning story to share, please CONTACT US. The editor will help you to write and share your story.