Viewers of this website may have noticed the Fraser Squadron website is now bilingual - English and Chinese.
What not French?
The lower mainland of British Columbia has a large Asian presence. A demographic that is increasingly turning to the water and the lifestyle that boating has to offer to residents of Coastal BC. Fraser Squadron was challenged to bring our Basic Boating class to to our Chinese immigrants - in Chinese. And we have risen to the challenge.
There are people who question "why". Why teach in Chinese? Why aren't these people learning in English?
While English may be important for VHF radio use, most of the nautical experience does not rely on language. Charts use shapes and symbols and colour to convey a wide variety of information. Aids to navigation are red, green, yellow, black and white, they are triangular, sqare, round, and other shapes and colours. Understanding the aids to navigation and on the water safety does not require a particlar language.
While undestanding the aids to navigation doesn't require a language, the best way to describe aids to navigation is to use a language the student is familiar with. Many of the students we will teach have some understanding of the English language but they are more comfortable with their first language.
To teach Power Squadron courses in another language requires:
- Trained instructors who understand the Power Squadron
- Course materials in the language
- Exams in the language
So . . . Where are we?
- We have a commitment from CPS at the national level to translate training materials into Chinese.
This is huge!
Why? Because simply speaking the words in a persons language is not enough. To provide enough instruction for our students to be safe confident boaters we need them to understand the material in their first language.
- We have a commitment from Transport Canada to provide PCOC examinations with questions in both English and Chinese.
With questions in "black and white" there is no ambiguity,
- We have started teaching the first class of Chinese instructors.
The CPS mission statement is:
To increase awareness and knowledge of safe boating by educating and training members and the general public, by fostering fellowship among members, and by establishing partnerships and alliances with organizations and agencies interested in boating.
All members working on this goal of making this a genuine learning opportunity bringing with it the fundamentals of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.