Bilingual community to share experiences at workshop

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A group of children from diverse language backgrounds, including Dinka, Korean, Tagalog and Afrikaans, have shared their experiences growing up bilingual in Australia.

The meeting was part of a new series of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) workshops underway in Toowoomba, sponsored by the USQ languages Group.

Event organiser Amelia Dowe said the workshop was designed to help bilingual children and teenagers in the community share their experiences, with advice given from USQ academics.

“We held our first workshop about two months ago and got a fantastic response,” Ms Dowe said.

“We’re hoping to hold them every one to two months now and provide a place for Toowoomba residents from a range of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds to talk.

“Everyone’s experiences are different but there can be many challenges people face in a bilingual household.”

Highfields resident Anna Kinivan said she grew up in a bilingual household, learning to speak both English and Tagalog.

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“We speak English at home but we visit the Philippines every four years so it’s important to also be able to speak Tagalog,” she said.

“It can be quite difficult learning the fine points of both languages but it’s important not to forget our heritage as well.”

If you would like to find out more information about these workshops, contact Amelia on

(Source: University of Southern Queensland)

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Date Created: October 1, 2014 Date Modified: October 4, 2014