6 Jun 2011

American Samoans need to speak language at home to ensure its survival

1:33 pm on 6 June 2011

American Samoan parents are being encouraged to use and teach Samoan more at home, as language proficiency drops in the territory.

American Samoa doesn't mark Samoan Language Week which is used in a number of places, including New Zealand and the US mainland, to heighten awareness of the language and culture.

Instead, our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says schools there celebrate their own annual "Samoan Day" where a traditional Samoan umu is cooked, and oratory competitions are held.

She says children and youth must also have their language education reinforced at home.

"Definitely there are concerns that children are not speaking Samoan in the home as was the case in the past, In homes where English is spoken, there are concerns that some of the terms used, are not correct."