We have courses available in Gagana Samoa, Lea Faka-Tonga, Cook Islands Māori and Vagahau Niue.
- If you’re Pasifika – reconnect with your identity and culture through your language. Improve your ability to communicate with people in your family, community and workplace.
- If you work with people from the Pacific nations and want to develop your communication skills – discover how learning a language and it's cultural practices can connect you with people at your work and in our community.
“In order to understand one’s culture, you must understand their language”
Dr Edmond Fehoko, Te Tomokanga Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Auckland
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Find out more about Pasifika short courses.
“I wanted to know more about who I was and where I came from. Both my parents have passed away and none of us knew the language. So, one of my younger sisters and I, decided it was time to take up the challenge.
I needed to understand more about who I was, not just the language, but the culture behind the language. I needed to grow my own knowledge about the language, the culture, and the identity of my own background, to be able to share that and grow others.
I heard so much about the lecturers at MIT and the way in which they approached the languages was more from a family whānau perspective and that is what I wanted, I wanted to be part of it. It is a bit like having a group of brothers and sisters that you did not know existed. We have become quite close, learnt more about ourselves, and we have been able to connect with our culture, our language, our identities and grow more.
A lot of our class was focused on talking, sharing, listening, and then practicing our language. Then from that, once you grow that knowledge and understanding, the reading and the writing becomes a part of it, it is like a natural progression because to be able to read and write, you must be able to speak.
We connect more meaningfully when we have a language that we can share. Language is how we communicate with each other. It is how we share ideas. Learning a new language grows you."
“I chose to learn the Tongan language because I grew up around Tongan all my life being half Tongan. I heard it spoken. I've seen it written down, I've sung songs but never really knew the language, and so I wanted to study it.
Opportunities where I've used my Pacific language skills are mostly in the classroom leaning the speeches. I intend to do a speech at my father's upcoming 75th birthday.
I enjoyed learning the culture and what things mean, I've grown up around terms and things that I didn't really understand, and now I have an understanding of those.
I think it's important to learn a language, if that is your culture, because it does teach you a lot about the culture, beyond the language. I think it's also good to learn it if it's not your culture too, because it gives you a broader understanding of other people.
I like studying at MIT – the facilities are awesome. MIT make it very easy to enroll and apply. The lecturers are really good and it’s local, which is great."
The following programmes are available in this area of study: