Samoa Beat

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An A.U.T lecturer says Samoan children in New Zealand are spending too much time on their phones and less speaking with their parents.

She says that’s the cause behind the Samoan language not frequently used in Samoan households in New Zealand.

Dr. Salainaoloa Wilson of the Auckland University of Technology says her journey in preserving Samoan culture had been tough.

“My journey to protect our beautiful language was a difficult one because of bad influence like mixing of different languages,” she said.

Dr. Wilson is a Lecturer in the School of Language and Culture at A.U.T.

“A family is where you will learn the language not only that but our culture and our roles and responsibilities in the family,” she added.

“I was struggling trying to maintain our language that’s why I came back to Samoa,” she said.

Part of her research involved taking part in Samoan family events including birthdays and weddings.

“Because family was my first school and my parents were my first teachers,” she said.

Wilson says the Samoan language is still at a rarity in New Zealand despite Samoans scattered around the country.

“South Auckland is the only part of New Zealand with many Samoan people who speak our language,” she said.

“Too much English language for small children outside of homes like schools, using technology to type what you want to say and less communicating by talking are contributors to the problem,” she said.

“More typing but less speaking and it’s a bad influence for our language,” she added.

Dr. Wilson completed a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Samoan Studies (2006), a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) in Pacific Studies (2008) and a Master of Arts in Pacific Studies (2010) at Victoria University of Wellington.

*Joachim is a first year Media and Journalism student of the National University of Samoa.