23 Apr 2013

Call for more Samoan language teaching in New Zealand primary schools

1:47 pm on 23 April 2013

The association of Samoan preschools in New Zealand is calling for more support for teaching in the Samoan language at primary school.

It's one of the topics at the national conference of Samoan language teachers starting today in Palmerston North.

The association's chair, Sala Tagoilelagi-Leota, says the preschools - or aoga amata - strive to give the children a strong grounding in Samoan by using it to teach the early childhood curriculum.

But she says those efforts are put in question by the lack of immersion teaching in Samoan at primary school

"So I am putting there a challenge, Aoga Amata, Ministry of Education and other sectors about coming in together to make sure that there is a continuum of this learning. Why are we doing all this in our Aoga Amata when children get to primary school and lose the language anyway?"

Sala Tagoilelagi-Leota says the ministry also needs to address the lack of training and resources for Samoan language teachers in preschools and schools.