Intermediate student learning fifth language

You might think that speaking or studying four languages would be enough for a student in intermediate school, but an Auckland student has proved he can handle more, so he’s started learning Korean as well.

At home, Jonathan Leiataua speaks Samoan with his family, plus English, and is also studying te reo Māori and Chinese at Henderson Intermediate, which recently began offering Korean language classes.

"My parents wanted me to study other languages, and when I came home with a notice about the school starting classes in Korean, they urged me to do it," he says.

"I have a dream to go around the world when I’m older, so learning different languages that people speak in different countries will help with that."

His learning path reflects the changing face of New Zealand, which is rapidly becoming increasingly diverse, culturally and linguistically.

Henderson in west Auckland is one of the most diverse parts of the city, so the intermediate school’s students are from many different cultures.

The largest cultural groups are Samoan and Māori but there are many other cultures represented at the school, ranging from Indian to Tuvaluan and Chinese. All the students learn Mandarin and te reo Māori.

Read the full story on the Education Gazette website

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