‘Talofa’ to Samoa

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Whitby schoolkids had a good ex­cuse to spend their evenings on the in­ter­net last week – they were shar­ing their knowl­edge of Samoan lan­guage.

The Dis­cov­ery School in­ter­me­di­ate class gained con­sid­er­able on­line in­ter­est in their Samoan Lan­guage Week mod­ule, with their web­site gain­ing 355 hits.

Teacher Si­mon Kenny says the class knew very lit­tle about Samoa ini­tially, but a Google search led to a full-blown on­line cel­e­bra­tion of Samoan lan­guage, with the class cre­at­ing in­ter­ac­tive lessons in num­bers, greet­ings and days of the week.

Stu­dent Bron­son Aiona, 12, is among the mere 5 per cent of the 420-strong Dis­cov­ery School who have a Pa­cific Is­land back­ground. He taught his fel­low stu­dents phrases, up­dated the class Face­book page, and helped with pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

His favourite part of the week? ‘‘Meet­ing the mayor.’’

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett was wel­comed to the class last Thurs­day with a Samoan lei and a hearty ‘‘Talofa!’’ A quar­ter of Porirua’s pop­u­la­tion is Pa­cific, Mr Leggett says, and it’s ter­rific to see Pa­cific lan­guages be­ing cel­e­brated.

Samoa smiles: Bron­son Aiona wel­comes Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett to Dis­cov­ery School with a Samoan lei.

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