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Language domains

Bilingual people are able to use their different languages in different places, with different people and for different purposes.



I’m a Samoan.  I speak my Samoan language at home.  My parents ask me a lot of questions in Samoan, and I tell them in my own language.  At school I use Samoan language and English sometimes, and at church sometimes I use English, but lots of times I use Samoan language.

I speak in Samoan, because my older parents, we always speak in Samoan because they don’t understand.

Most of the time I speak English with my family, but then once I come to school I also speak English but not that much, just speaking Samoan, because most of my friends are all Samoan.

Well, I’ve taught for 20 years, for example, I’ve never ever had a student before I came here, who could comfortably converse in Samoan with me, they always seem to think that when they speak Samoan to me we’re different.  And these are the same students in my Sunday school, who’ll sit and chat in Samoan.  Then when you go to school, somehow they tend to think that speaking their language is different, it’s not normal.  So they have these two different identities –the one at school, and one for Sunday school and one for home.