19 September 2008

Learning English via TV?

I took a Kurdish man to the social services office to get approval, and funding, for him to take English classes. He wants to get a job. English is the key to that in New Zealand.

When we got back to the house, the neighbour lady was there with her little boy. Ayat is probably 3 and cute, the baby of that family.

The TV was on so I tried to switch it over to some of the children's programming. Nothing . . . I couldn't get any NZ stations. I realised that they had satellite access so they could get programs from "home". Understandable. I didn't ask about the cost.

I did suggest that they might want to arrange for an aerial so they could local programmes too. The kids could benefit from English language fun stuff!

One of the reasons refugee families can get a TV in their re-establishment grant is that it is seen as an aid to learning English. It is really seen as a necessity for living! How many families do you know without a TV!?

I don't begrudge them a TV. I do think they need to tune in locally.

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