Teaching English in Samoa: Coming of Age

Common Ground
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of Learning, 2007, 14 pp. 1 - 7
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The expansion of English as a global language as a language of communication involves issues of cultural and linguistic diversity (Cummins, 1997). 21 student-teachers from an Australian university had the opportunity to give English language instruction in four Samoan primary schools. They undertook a 3 week international teaching practicum program (in 2006) and this experience provides the contextual background for an exploration of issues in English language teaching in Samoa. Observations of their teaching experiences showed that communicative language approaches to second language teaching worked successfully. In particular, picture books, language games and the use of songs with their music, rhyme, rhythm and repetition helped the acquisition of English language. Paradoxically, the practicum highlighted the importance of the maintenance of vernacular languages and the costs and benefits of teaching English. The reality of their classroom experiences contributed to reflective teaching practice and a raised awareness of the significance of indigenous culture
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