Speaking English starts young at Faletagaloa Savai'i
The teachers and students of Faletagaloa Preschool in Safune, Savai'i live by a motto: "Practice makes perfect."
That's the ethic that guides their teaching of a second language from a very young age and one that was on display on Thursday when the preschool hosted an English Day to cap of a term of studies.
The Principal of the school, Rosita Peleti Sanerivi, said that it’s better for the students to start learning at a very young age.
“English is not our first language, we all know that,” she said.
“However, as our children grow up and move onto higher level of education, they will find that most of the subjects are taught in English.
“Therefore, we believe it is only right that we start getting them to talk and practice in English starting from a very young age.”
Mrs. Sanerivi admits that one of the most common challenges is children's reticence to speak English for fear of making a mistake. But on Thursday and in front of an audience of parents the students were encouraged to publicly display what they had learnt all term in the form of skits and public displays.
“That’s one of the issue we see with our kids. They are scared or why to talk in English because they don’t want to make a mistake or they are scared they might pronounce the word wrong and others would mock them for it," she said.
“However, we want to change that kind of mindset hence, the English Day is one of the ways in which we know can encourage our students to talk and also stand in front of the crowd and speak English.
“We encourage them to keep practising and to keep learning. We have all sorts of activities all throughout the year just so we can invite the parents of the students to come in on the last day of each terms and see some of the work done by their children and also to see how they progress throughout the year.
“We are grateful to the support of parents as well.”