Station Helps Local Language Reach New Audience

10,000 Jersey schoolchildren – and millions of other learners around the world – can now learn the island’s native language online with the help of the market-leading commercial radio station, Channel 103.

The station, which is part of the Tindle group, was recently contacted by L’Office du Jèrriais – the organisation which promotes the language – looking for help to produce a series of recordings to create a digital learning platform for school teachers and pupils in Years 3-9.

The recordings produced at the station’s studios will be included as part of Linguascope, a popular suite of interactive learning tools for schools, with Jèrriais becoming the 15th language to be included.

The website and mobile apps are currently used by thousands of schools around the world to help teach languages.

Jèrriais speaker Atticus Mawby recording the translations for the site

The project has been entirely funded by charitable donations, co-funded by the Jersey Community Foundation and Le Don Balleine Incorporated Association.

The Jèrriais language dates back more than 1,000 years, but the most recently published census (2011) shows that fewer than 2,000 people speak it as a first language.

Coinciding with Jèrriais’ addition to Linguascope, the platform is also being made freely available to all of Jersey’s primary schools, secondary schools and colleges.

Alex Watson, Channel 103 Operations Manager says:

“Jersey is a wonderful island with so many special qualities that make it unique – one of those is its own native language, Jèrriais.

“Channel 103 is proud to be a part of island life and when asked if we could help with the project and have a part in helping preserve the Jersey language and help it reach new potential learners here and around the world, we couldn’t say no.”

Alex Watson, Channel 103

Susan Parker from the Jèrriais Teaching Service says:

“Audio is an essential learning tool for languages, especially for a language that is not widely spoken. An online platform where students can hear Jèrriais will make learning our precious indigenous language more accessible and encourage more young people to learn it.

“Being able to bring Jersey’s native language to so many new learners locally and internationally will help to revitalise the language and secure its future.

“With Channel 103’s help, we’ve been able to get everything up and running for September – in time for students returning for the new academic year.”

Susan Parker, Jèrriais Teacher

Jersey schools wishing to subscribe to Linguascope can contact L’Office du Jèrriais for more information.