23 Feb 2011

Rapa Nui expert says immersion teaching not enough for language to survive

2:42 pm on 23 February 2011

A Rapa Nui language teacher has doubts about Chile's plan to help the Rapa Nui language survive.

Ministers visiting the island have announced a package of measures to address indigenous islanders' concerns, including a language immersion plan in primary schools.

Poike Riro Pakonio says it's a good move as the Polynesian language is dying in favour of Spanish but he says its survival will depend on more use in the community.

"If I go to the shop and some Rapa Nui work there, maybe I'll speak the langauge but after that coming out of the shop you must speak Spanish because there's more Spanish, here, Chileans than Rapa Nui."

Poike Riro Pakonio.