8 Jun 2010

Samoan language under pressure in NZ

1:35 pm on 8 June 2010

A graduate student in New Zealand says the Samoan language in this country is under pressure with more English spoken in family homes and churches.

Victoria University masters student Salainaoloa Wilson, who is part Samoan, researched Samoan students, parents' and teachers' perceptions of the language in New Zealand.

She says she found Samoan is being taught less in traditional ways; that there's a notable drop in the numbers of New Zealand Samoans who can speak it conversationally, and a shortage of qualified language teachers.

"We are experiencing [a] shift in our language here in New Zealand. And to get these conversations going to let people know. What I found also was that not many people that I spoke to even knew that our language could be under threat here in New Zealand. They thought everything was just fine."

Salainaoloa Wilson.

Samoan is the third most common language in New Zealand.