Arts and Music

Bilingual Show at Prince Philip School Wows Audience

The show highlights how bilingualism, multilingualism and home languages are tremendous resources in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

By Jonathan Lambert
Published March 04, 2013

Students and teachers in a dual-language program at Prince Philip Elementary School in Hamilton shared an impressive bilingual performance during the program's open house event on Saturday, March 2.

Performers in the show were absolute superstars. First, young children sang songs in Chinese Mandarin and English. Later, there was fantastic dancing, short skits, costumes, masks, comedy, cooperation and then more music.

In addition to these arts, students shared remarkable compositions. A young student talked about the underground railroad, slavery and freedom. Another composition addressed racism and pointed towards overcoming discrimination.

Near the show's grande finale, a student composition commemorated the Chinese workers employed in the construction of the trans-Canada railway during the 1880s.

Students in the show were between the ages of five and eleven.

Since so many people were in the show's audience in the school gymnasium, more chairs had to brought into the room in order to accommodate everyone.

After the open house performance, there were refreshments and healthy snacks in the school's hallway while students, teachers and families enjoyed conversation mixing English, Chinese Mandarin and additional languages.

The occasion highlights how bilingualism, multilingualism and home languages are tremendous resources in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, resources which can be fostered and celebrated in educational spaces sharing support for the achievement of all students.

Prince Philip Elementary is a component of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

Jonathan Lambert is a returnee to Hamilton, Ontario. In between studies at the University of Toronto and stellar pick-up soccer, he enjoys taking in Monday night Hamilton Red Wing home games.

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By Supau (anonymous) | Posted March 04, 2013 at 13:46:17

Prince Philip has a unique program that helps native-Mandarin speakers transition to an English classroom.

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By Jonathan L (anonymous) | Posted March 05, 2013 at 19:42:48

Thanks for the interest in the article. In case it's of interest, in this article, "a dual-language program" means "a program including two languages".

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By PP Parent (anonymous) | Posted March 07, 2013 at 12:59:42

Thank you for this article. I'm a parent of 3 Prince Philip kids. We are not in the Mandarin program but we are grateful for their presence. It makes our school different and cool! My kids come home from school and teach me about China. Unfortunately, local school board trustee Judith Bishop wants to close Prince Philip forever and destroy the Mandarin program.

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By PP Parent (anonymous) | Posted March 07, 2013 at 17:00:40

Correction: the Mandarin program will be re-started at GR Allan, not destroyed, if Bishop's plan goes ahead. (However, the facilities will be more crowded and with worse bathroom access.)

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