DOE Dual Language model ready for gov's review
The Department of Education has in place a proposal for the “Dual Language Transitional Model” for all public schools in which Samoan and English languages will be used for classroom instruction.
Resolutions approved during last month’s Education Summit called for the classroom instruction law to be amended to state that both Samoan and English languages be used in the public schools and that a dual language program be designed and implemented to provide greater accessibility of content area knowledge and skills for children K-12.
Under the Dual Language Transitional Model, the DOE proposal calls for 95% of classroom teaching to be done in the Samoan language for Early Childhood Education to K level with 5% in the English language.
According to the model, First Grade classroom instruction would be 90% in Samoan; Second Grade, 80%; and Third Grade 70%—with the balance in English. The percentage changes heading into the higher grades. For example, the plan calls for 60% of classroom instruction to be done in Samoan for Grades 4-5; and 50% for Grades 6-8.
For Grades 9-12, the plan says Samoan Language is to be used for "content area” while English will be used as a "medium of instruction”.
According to DOE data, the overall goals of the dual language program are to ensure that students “be proficient in Samoan and English, improve test scores in all assessments and be college and career ready”.
Low student achievement and high school graduates having to take remedial courses in college were among the issues discussed at the Education Summit, where Education Department director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau pushed for using the Samoan language to teach students at the lower levels.
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga is meeting today with the summit organizing committee where its report will be submitted to the governor for review.