Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Exploring Year 10 Samoan Students’ Experiences of Teaching and Learning in the Mainstream English Classroom

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posted on 2021-11-22, 09:30 authored by Lautusi, Kalia

This research examined the ways in which twelve Year 10 Samoan students experienced teaching and learning in the mainstream English classroom. The study was guided by two questions: What perceptions do a group of Samoan students have of the strengths and skills they bring to the English classroom? And: How do these students see themselves as navigating teaching and learning in the English classroom drawing on these strengths?   The aim of the research was to further understand how skills Samoan students develop outside the English classroom are being used by the participants to create positive learning outcomes. As a way to prioritise Pacific student voices, the Pacific research methodology of talanoa was used to gather stories from the participants alongside observations of the English classroom.   Three major themes emerged from the findings – describing the need for interdependence, self-organisation, and fa’atua (or the value or reciprocal and mutually respectful relationships). Karlo Mila-Schaaf’s (2010) concept of polycultural capital was used as a theoretical paradigm to interpret the findings. If educators can understand how a group is functioning well, and the conditions that allow this to happen, this knowledge can lead to benefits for other Pacific students. The study concludes with a consideration of what might happen if teachers consciously provide space for existing skills and strategies.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education


Hubbard, Gillian; Chu, Cherie