Namaste - language learning forging global and local ties

​Learning the Hindi language is opening the eyes of Victorian school students to a world of possibilities, while forging stronger connections with the local community.

Learning the Hindi language and about Indian culture is opening the eyes of Victorian school students to a world of possibilities, while forging stronger connections with the local community.

The Grange P-12 College in Hoppers Crossing was one of the first government schools in Australia to offer Hindi as a Language Other Than English.

The first was another Victorian school, Rangebank Primary School in Cranbourne.

‘Hindi is a very unifying language. It’s a very beautiful language and here, when the children sing in class and sing their Hindi songs, we can see the parents finding great pleasure and joy in that.’

Senior college students have been studying Hindi for the past three years, while the Hindi language program was introduced to P-2 students this year.

Students recently performed traditional Indian dances and sang songs in Hindi as part of the school’s celebration of India’s 70th Independence Day.

Languages education in the Education State

Languages education, intercultural skills and global perspectives play a vital role in preparing students for an increasingly interconnected world.

The Victorian Government’s Education State vision aims to ensure that all Victorian students can access world-class languages education programs. 

Learning languages and developing intercultural skills encourages students to develop a stronger connection to the world around them and an understanding of their place in it.

It also strengthens brain development and builds their problem-solving and English literacy skills.

Learning a language helps build the skills young people need to live the lives they want to live and get the jobs they need.

Forging stronger ties with community

The Grange College P-6 Campus Principal Meredith Clencie says the school established the Hindi language program to forge stronger ties with the municipality’s burgeoning Indian community.

Wyndham welcomed an estimated 55,000 people in the past five years, making it one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia.

Many of the new residents are of Indian heritage. In fact, Victoria is home to the largest Indian population in Australia.

An estimated 185 million people speak Hindi across the globe, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world.

Ms Clencie says the school’s Hindi program exposes students to the rich culture of India through crafts, music and dance.

'Many students can now chat in Hindi to their grandparents in India for the first time,' she says.

'It’s also been a great way to break down barriers across the different cultures in schools.

'Hindi is a very unifying language. It’s a very beautiful language and here, when the children sing in class and sing their Hindi songs, we can see the parents finding great pleasure and joy in that.'

Year 2 student Eli says he enjoyed performing a traditional Hindi dance for the school community as part of the college’s Independence Day celebrations.

'We performed Chamda Chumpke,' Eli says.

'It’s about the moon that’s shining and we were pointing to the moon and acting like puppets.'