4 Aug 2014

Dual language teaching in American Samoa slammed

5:21 pm on 4 August 2014

Some senators in American Samoa are not convinced that using both Samoan and English for classroom instruction will improving test scores for students.

They are insisting English be the only language used for teaching.

Senator Magalei Logovi'i says he has serious reservations when it comes to dual language teaching.

He says if it is set by law to use both Samoan and English, a teacher will feel obligated to teach students in Samoan, while parents send their children to school to learn to speak and understand English.

The senator also says using the Samoan language to teach students is not going to help students who go off island to attend college where there are no textbooks in Samoan - and the Samoan language is not used in classroom instruction.

Another senator, Nua Saoluaga, says the current law is perfect as it is now and suggests the Education Department focus attention on improving the quality of teaching.

He blames the low test scores recorded by local students on the poor training of teachers.