Teaching English in Samoa: Coming of Age

By Lesley Ljungdahl.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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.

Keywords: English as a Global Language, International Teaching Practicum, English as a Second Language, Communicative Language Teaching

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp.93-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 521.947KB).

Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Technology Sydney, Lindfield, NSW, Australia

Dr Lesley Ljungdahl is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her latest publication (3rd edition) with Winch et al. is Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature (OUP). She has a keen interest in ESL education and overseas practicums.

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