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Samoan students prompt Stanford to add Samoan language to curriculum

Brandy Atuatasi (left) and Ari Patu

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoan language studies has now been added to the curriculum at Stanford University in California, one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions.

The credit goes to Samoan students at Stanford University, Ari Patu and Brandy Atuatasi for ensuring this comes to pass.

According to the school’s website, Samoan language courses focus on speaking, writing, reading, and listening abilities in Samoan.

 “An interactive approach enables students to express concepts and develop communicative competence at the basic level. Cultural context is an essential part of the course. This is the last sequence that fulfills the language requirement.”

According to the school’s website the lecturers are Chris Young and Tali’ilagi Young; a mother and son team.

An announcement on social media commended Ari Patu and Brandy Atuatasi, who played a huge role in assuring the Samoan language is being taught at Stanford.

Atuatasi said: “Our language and our culture is worth fighting for; anyone who desires to speak Samoan and be immersed in the culture should be able to.

” But access and exposure is essential.

“Everyone in the class has expressed their excitement to finally have this opportunity to learn Samoan. We’re so grateful to have this class here, it’s truly a blessing,” said Atuatasi.

Ari Patu shared Atuatasi’s sentiments. “My motivation was simply love,” Patu said.

 “My love for my culture and people run bone deep and so an opportunity to bring that here was really a blessing from the Lord.

 “Another huge reason is just wanting to learn more about my culture, who I am, where I come from, my language and more.

“I know that there’s a lot I don’t know, and I can’t wait to find out,” he said.