ERIC Number: ED264334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Communicative Barriers to Samoans' Training and Employment in the U.S.
Shore, Bradd; Platt, Martha
This paper considers the communicative competence of Samoan migrants and how it affects their effectiveness in working situations. English language skills, written and oral, are assessed, using fieldwork reports and 1980 census data. Traditional Samoan communication is described in order to examine Samoans' second language competence comparatively. Social dimensions of communication in Samoa; Samoan speech registers; personal naming practices and social implications; the status of English in contemporary Samoa; and non-verbal communication are outlined. An ethnography of traditional Samoan conceptions of work and divisions of labor is sketched, highlighting aspects pertinent to the American workplace. The authors find that Samoans are themselves deeply concerned about English proficiency and that limited English reading and writing proficiency of migrant Samoans combines with unfamiliarity with Western expectations and values associated with work to hamper the abililty of Samoans to write resumes, complete job applications, and succeed in interviews. Limited English competence, limited proficiency in reading and writing, conflicting values between the home and school/workplace, and unfamiliarity with Anglo ways of speaking contribute to a high rate of unemployment and underrepresentation of Samoans in white collar and supervisory positions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the consequences of limited communicative competence in the American workplace for Samoan workers. (Author/CG)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Employment and Training Administration (DOL), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.