Where do we start?

Starting to plan language celebrations is exciting. Remember that the purpose of a language celebration is to publicly recognise your language, culture and community. A useful place to start the process is determining your community’s goals.

Here’s what you may want to consider:

  • Your community’s current needs, such as:
    • Your community’s proficiency and knowledge of your language
    • Current initiatives such as community language classes or cultural events
    • Where your community is located in New Zealand.
  • The future goals of your community:
    • Where your community wants your language to be in 5, 10 and 50 years.

As a community project, the goals for your language celebration should be supported by your wider community. Try to involve as many people as possible. This helps to build support for the celebration.

Setting objectives

Thinking about your community’s skills and use of your language in 50 years can help you build objectives for your community today.

  • What will it take to get your community to that place in 50 years?
    • Can you link your project to existing language initiatives such as playgroups, language lessons and cultural groups?
  • How can your language celebration help get your community there?
    • Is the celebration building language skills, encouraging language use or inspiring community members to learn your language?
    • Is it building the profile of your language in the community?
  • How realistic are your objectives?
    • What community support will be required to reach these objectives? Is this level of support feasible?
  • How would establishing a separate group/organisation meet these objectives?
    • See CommunityNet Aotearoa for information about forming groups and establishing a legal status: www.community.net.nz
    • How have other communities established language celebrations?

TIP: Long term success may mean starting small. Preserving and promoting your language is a long-term project and so it is important to be realistic about what is achievable and likely to be successful in your community.