ABCD: An organisation helping keep Brazilian culture alive in Australia
From what started as a playgroup by two Brazilian-Australian mums 19 years ago, the Association for Brazilian Bilingual Children’s Development (ABCD) has today grown to service around 600 members.
Ensuring they keep the language and culture of Brazil alive in their Australian-born and -raised children, the ABCD offers a range of playgroups and classes to teach Portuguese to children aged five and older at various locations across Sydney.
Monica Croll, ABCD treasurer and administration officer, said the organisation has been formally recognised by the New South Wales Department of Education as a key community language school, an initiative other nations are impressed by.
“As ABCD is a not-for-profit organisation and a community language school, we can use the classrooms of the public schools without having to pay anything as rent,” Monica explained.
“We also get lots of training for our teachers with very good courses by the Sydney University, so it’s amazing what the Australian Government is doing to help us maintain our culture and promote the multiculturalism here.”
Recognising the importance of learning a second language, Monica said the teachers and volunteers at the ABCD continue to find ways to make learning fun for their students to keep them engaged.
She explained that because Portuguese is a Latin-based language, it allows the students to go on and learn other Latin-based languages such as French, Italian and Spanish with ease.
“Of course, we also want the children to be able to speak with their family, so when they go to Brazil they don’t feel like they’re foreigners, and they can make friends, and they know a little bit about the country as well,” Monica said.
We try to make our classes as culturally rich and fun as possible because Brazilians love to party, we love dancing and we love food, so we want to pass this onto the students.
Regularly finding innovative ways to teach the language to the students, such as Brazilian dance classes or school holiday football camp, the ABCD continues to attract enthusiastic young Portuguese speakers each year.
The ABCD currently holds classes at various venues across New South Wales, including Brookvale, Castle Hill, Dulwich Hill, Maroubra, Petersham, and Waverton, and the organisation hopes to expand to more locations in NSW and other states in the future.
Find a school by visiting the NSW Department of Education website HERE.