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Student advice for teachers

Senior Pasifika students provide advice for teachers of Pasifika students, highlighting the need for teachers to focus on the level of language that they use in classrooms to communicate with Pasifika learners.


What advice I’d give to teachers is to be straightforward with Pasifika students. A lot of them find it real difficult to learn in the classrooms, and one of a biggest factors is they don’t understand them. One of a key part of the language Pasifika students learning English it’s like second, second language for them. And most of them learn Tongan, and their first language is Samoan, and like it’s a bit of a barrier, some of the words that teachers say kinda you know, backtracks Pasifika students. So if you be straightforward with them to come down to their level and actually to help them in the way that they can learn, the easy way would be really good for Pasifika students.

Pasifika students, they learn in a different way, I know they, some may appear confident, but they’re the ones that you really have to keep your attention on, because, they may not ask for help, or seem like, they’re too proud to say, “Oh no, I need help.” So I guess always offering open forms of communication to students, to all students, but especially for Pasifika students it’s this level of being comfortable around your teachers.

A lot of teachers they already know about knowing the students, but sometimes they don’t discuss it as much and it’s not really implemented well. Teachers that work for me very well are teachers that are able to easily relate to who can really relate to the students, you know the Pasifika students, you know they really bring forward all the protocols for someone Tongan or Fijian cultures that they have. And they bring into they implement it in the classroom, and they create this atmosphere where a lot of the students you know they feel comfortable, and they’re able to learn and as I said before, you know the atmosphere is great and you know that helps with our learning.