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Teaching and learning Gagana Sāmoa

Tālofa lava!

Welcome to the online environment developed to support the teaching of Gagana Sāmoa.

Sāmoa language week / Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa

Sāmoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa is to take place between Sunday 30 May and Saturday 5 June, 2021. The theme is "Poupou le lotoifale. Ola manuia le anofale" which means strengthen the posts of your house, for all to thrive.

Teaching resources

National events

Effective teaching for Pasifika students

Gagana Sāmoa is the second most spoken language in Auckland and third most spoken in New Zealand. This means that there is a reasonably high chance that you will have some gagana Sāmoa speakers in your school. Encourage those students to be experts, and validate their expertise in front of other students.  Support them to speak gagana Sāmoa to each other and to others in the class. Invite students to prepare the Sāmoa Week celebrations in the school, investigating the value of service to others and placing an emphasis on shared language experiences.

To celebrate in your school

  • Use the following questions as discussion starters with your class – "Why is it important for all New Zealanders to celebrate and learn gagana Sāmoa?", "What benefits will this bring to New Zealanders of Sāmoan descent?"
  • Hold a school speech competition, using senior students as the judges.
  • Share your expertise with another school. Older students could mentor a Sāmoan cultural group, or teach younger students some basic language phrases.
  • With the help of the Sāmoan community, students can create a resource that can be used by teachers across the school during the year.
  • Ask a grandparent or parent to come and read to children in the classroom or in the library at lunchtime. Check your resource room for gagana Sāmoa titles in the Tupu series.

Engaging with Pasifika parents, families and communities

Sāmoa language week is an ideal opportunity to engage with aiga in the school community. Acknowledge expertise, encourage a steady flow of gagana Sāmoa speakers into the classroom, and let the community guide the teaching and learning in a fa'a Sāmoa way.  The intergenerational concept of service is very important to fa'a Sāmoa, with its emphasis on the young looking after the older members of their family.  Hold a school event where the students serve the elders, or ask the Sāmoan school community how the school could help them.  This is a great way to practise gagana Sāmoa, as students can serve the wider community while interacting with fluent speakers in an everyday situation.

If community members are willing, a debate could be held between parents and secondary level students in response to the Tagata Pasifika video below

The survival of the Samoan language in New Zealand – Are we becoming complacent?

Are Sāmoans being complacent when it comes to their language? This Tagata Pasifika special looks at Sāmoa language learning, and whether attitudes towards learning gagana Sāmoa need to change.

Key resources

Samoan Curriculum Cover

Ta'iala mo le Gagana Sāmoa: The Gagana Sāmoa Guidelines

Download the Gagana Sāmoa language curriculum guidelines. These guidelines support additional language learning whilst focusing on teaching and learning that will enable students to achieve worthwhile outcomes.

Mua Ō! An Introduction to Gagana Sāmoa

This resource has been designed and developed to support the teaching and learning of gagana Sāmoa as an additional language in New Zealand schools.

Gagana Sāmoa storybooks and teacher support materials

These storybooks and teacher support materials link to learning sequences in Mua Ō! The storybooks are in gagana Sāmoa and the teacher support materials are in English.

Ministry of Education resources – to help inform Gagana Sāmoa speaking aiga.

From our media gallery


Knowing a Pasifika language is not a barrier to success in English-medium schooling. Teachers who value and share the languages that Pasifika students bring with them into the classroom and deliberately build their English language skills help Pasifika students to succeed.

Visit the  Media Gallery – Effective teaching for Pasifika students | Language for a summary of key content, discussion questions, and the video transcript.

Other resources

Gagana Sāmoa: Tusi o gāluega fa'atino – Samoan language activity book

A downloadable resource from Te Papa for students to learn Sāmoan words through simple activities such as word searches, colouring pages, and stories.