Sri Lankan language and heritage recognised through teaching award

495180 Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister  Paul Papalia, Perth Sinhala School coordinator Nirosha Dilhani Kapu Arachchilage, Thornlie MLA Chris Tallentire and Community Languages WA president Enzo Sirna.
495180 Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia, Perth Sinhala School coordinator Nirosha Dilhani Kapu Arachchilage, Thornlie MLA Chris Tallentire and Community Languages WA president Enzo Sirna.

TEACHING students about their Sri Lankan heritage has landed the head of a community language school important recognition.

Perth Sinhala School coordinator Nirosha Dilhani Kapu Arachchilage has won the Outstanding Community Language Teacher of the Year Award.

The award was handed out during Languages Week in early August by the Office of Multicultural Interests.

The school runs classes on Sundays and there are workshops held during the school holidays.

Dr Arachchilage said most of the students had at least one parent from Sri Lanka.

“It’s very important for the students to know about Sinhala language because they will be able to communicate with their grandparents, many of whom don’t know English,” she said.

“The students can also get an eastern cultural perspective which they can match with their western cultural.

Dr Arachchilage she considered the award to be a recognition of the collective efforts of people associated with the school.

“Sri Lankans are a minority group in Perth, although there are quite a few families around Riverton, Willetton and Canning Vale,” she said.

Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia said community languages teachers such as Dr Arachchilage performed a vital service in maintaining language and cultural diversity in WA.

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