Brazilian Community Language School of Brisbane
Interview with Dr Lilian Fleuri, project director of Raizes Brasileiras, explain what is the importance of a community language school.
Affiliated to ABRASSO (Australia Brazil Association), Raízes Brasileiras is an independent project of a Brazilian community language school located in Brisbane and surrounding areas. This project is directed by Dr Lilian Fleuri who is a linguist, language teacher, researcher, lecturer at the University of Queensland, author and director of project Raizes Brasileiras, and a full time mother of two trilingual children. She gladly answers anything regards the project, children and adult classes, children bilingual development, bilingual upbringing, community language school consultation, heritage language material design, volunteering, workshop proposals, etc.
Heritage language and bilingualism
Project Raízes Brasileiras
Uma língua como herança
Raízes Brasileiras supports bilingualism through the maintenance of Portuguese as a heritage language: a language first or simultaneously learnt as a child, but that gets weaker when the child start school in another more dominant language. If not maintained within the family/community the heritage language can eventually be lost (Polinzky, 2007).
Due to strong family ties and connections to their homeland, Brazilian background families consider that maintaining Portuguese is highly important for their family's well-being. Raising bilingual children is then a priority for most of well-educated Brazilian families. However, raising confident fully bilingual children might be harder than it seems, and parents, for the lack of professional support and knowledge in linguistic issues, get confused or end up giving up the bilingual upbringing when they face obstacles.
Here is when a community language school makes the difference. Raizes Brasileiras properly support parents throughout their journey of raising bilingual children, from planning a family to sending your child to university.