ERIC Number: ED473456
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Transition of Samoan Children from Aoga Amata to Primary School: Case Study in the Wellington Region.
Sauvao, Malaeta F.
Noting that the number of Samoan children in New Zealand receiving early childhood education in their heritage language has been increasing rapidly, this study examined the way the transition to primary school was organized for Aoga Amata (early childhood centers) children. Participating in the interview study were 39 parents, 14 teachers, 14 principals, and 20 children. Additional case study data were collected for 6 children. The findings indicated that parents had language and cultural reasons for enrolling their children at a local Aoga Amata. The parents, teachers, and principals of receiving schools viewed the Aoga Amata experience as valuable. Transition was managed by families and schools through several strategies: family assistance, assistance of other Samoan children at school, use of non-teaching staff who were Samoan speakers, and, in one school, a bilingual program. Some teachers and principals were concerned that the Aoga Amata did not provide written records regarding children and their development. Schools recognized the importance of language maintenance but, except for one school, could not provide bilingual education during the transition. Parents were aware of the familys role in achieving bilingualism and the school's role in English language development, but they were seeking ways to link the home and school through their childrens language education. Based on findings, it was concluded that: (1) schools with English-only solutions to transition may not be properly appreciating the importance of language continuity in the education of bilingual children; (2) parents, teachers, and principals view transition from different perspectives; (3) language maintenance can proceed through many pathways; (4) new initiatives are needed to consider the role of language continuity in transition arrangements for Aoga Amata children; and (5) neither administrative nor professional continuity were in place at the majority of schools surveyed. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand