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Samoan in NZ challenged to use language more

Government challenging Samoan community in New Zealand to use its languagege more.
Fagasa (Organisation for the maintenance and teaching of Samoan language) members, (from left), Afamasaga Pavihi (head bowed) and Daez Pavihi, both of Dunedin, Sinaenae Tolai, of Invercargill, and CJ Sopaga and Tauvao Fuiavailiili, both of Dunedin, take part in a kava ceremony at the Holy Cross Centre in Mosgiel yesterday. [Photo by Jane Dawber/Otago Daily Times]

The association of Samoan language teachers says New Zealand's third most common language will keep slowly dying until it becomes more widely taught in schools.

The call was made at a meeting, or fono, of about 30 experts and teachers from Samoan language organisation FAGASA in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Association president Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin says surveys show the proportion of New Zealand-born Samoans who can speak the language has fallen to about 40%.

Mr Hunkin there are 86 full immersion Samoan and bi-lingual early childhood centres, but the Government's resources are being wasted because fewer than 30 schools provide further education.

He says English gets millions of dollars of resources, while Samoan slowly dies.

Click to connect to article companion article at Otago Daily Times:  http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/205045/importance-language



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