A Message from Morgan Benington, November 2020

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places” – Ernest Hemingway 

I have been inspired in the latter half of this year by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. The traditional approach to reparation seeks to enhance rather than disguise the cracks by filling them with gold. This wonderful element of Japanese culture embraces imperfection and leads to stronger more beautiful outcomes. 

In many ways 2020 has been our own version of Kintsugi. Our world has been broken and we are on our way to piecing things back together; inserting our gold in the cracks along the way. At multiple times throughout this year Aotearoa has been forced to take time to reflect on the impact that the Covid19 pandemic has had and continues to have on us and our loved ones both here and internationally. 

Thank you to all of you, our readers and believers in the importance of language learning, use and maintenance. We have seen you come out in great force to upskill in language, culture and pedagogy throughout this year. The growth mindset that we see in teachers of languages inspires us and motivates us to ensure that the gold we use to seal the cracks is tailored to suit your needs and wants. Record numbers for online and face to face workshops, the Domestic Immersion Programmes in Queenstown and Immersion weekend in Rotorua show how dedicated you all are to ensure the best outcomes for your students, schools, communities and yourselves as education professionals. Equally I’d like to acknowledge the immense work that the Centre for Languages team, both Facilitators and Operations team have done to adapt our services and support for teachers of languages throughout Aotearoa. 

Kintsugi draws from the idea of wabi-sabi which is finding acceptance in the imperfect. We take time to reflect; embrace our life experience in the face of new challenges; use our wisdom to find new and innovative ways forward. We do not fear change or uncertainty, instead we embrace our internal strength to repair the cracks with our own version of gold. 

Wishing you all the very best for the remainder of 2020. Take each day as it comes, find the cracks and enjoy making them beautiful. Have a safe transition to holidays, Summer and a time of rest with whānau. The team at Future Learning Solutions-Centre for Languages is looking forward to working with you all in 2021. 

Morgan Benington, Programme Manager, Future Learning Solutions - Centre for Languages