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NZ: AUT produces videos to boost student interest in Pacific languages

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Community engagement manager at AUT's Manukau campus Jody Jackson-Becerra ... youth engagement vital. Video: Pacific Media Watch

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Item: 9463

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Loss of language is still a major concern for Pacific communities. With another year of language week celebrations almost over, the Auckland University of Technology has produced a series of videos to promote the languages.

Community engagement manager at AUT’s Manukau campus Jody Jackson-Becerra said the series urged young people to get involved.

“In the past lots of different cultural activities have been done, which doesn’t necessarily reach many people. And so doing the videos and encouraging our Pacific students to attempt to speak a language, even if they were not confident, was a great way to promote the language.”

The project also gave way for topical issues other than languages to be addressed, like in the Tuvalu language story.

The issue of climate change was highlighted, which has sparked interest in other Pacific youth.

One of these youngsters was AUT student Cythia Patali, who featured in the video.

'Good for us'
“I’m also a Pasifika student and I understand what they’re coming through and also it’s good for us to understand their background as well,” she said.

“For me, I’m Samoan and I like to understand other cultures and backgrounds.”

Tongan student Mabel Muller also understands the value of language.

“Language is a precious commodity for any culture and in order to break down barriers between generations and different cultures we’ve got to know the language,” she said.

“For a language to die out, that’s basically the most important element of a culture, so once the language dies out everything else is going to follow.”

The last of the language weeks puts Tokelau in the spotlight starting tomorrow.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

About the authors

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Alistar Kata

Pacific Media Watch project contributing editor 2015

Alistar Kata is of Cook Island, Māori (Ngapuhi) descent and is a Communication Studies Honours student at AUT and Pacific Media Watch contributing editor.

PMC profile photograph

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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