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Rotuman Language Week

Noa'ia 'e mạuri!

Rotuman Language Week takes place from Sunday 7 May to Sunday 14 May 2023. 

About Rotuman Language Week

Rotuma from the air.

Rotuma consists of the island of Rotuma and its nearby islets and is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about 500 kilometres north of Fiji. Although Rotuma is its own nation, it is currently administered by Fiji as a dependency. Rotuman people are a separate ethnic group with their own distinct language, culture, and identity.

The Rotuman language is listed on the UNESCO list of endangered languages and New Zealand’s Rotuman community works hard to preserve and promote their mother tongue.

Rotuman Language Week is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to celebrate the identity, language and culture of people from Rotuma. This resource page offers ideas, links, and stories to support the learning of Rotuman. 

Curriculum connections

NZC Curriculum icon.

Rotuman Language Week supports a number of curriculum principles, including cultural diversity and inclusion. This special week provides students with the opportunity to explore the values of equity and diversity. Students who learn Rotuman can make use of key competencies and achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages and social sciences learning areas. 

How can you get involved?

Join the the #LoveMyLanguage Challenge 
Teach your students how to introduce themselves in Rotuman and join the #LoveMyLanguage Challenge. Upload a video of your students introducing themselves and nominate others to do the same. This YouTube video shares more information about the #LoveMyLanguage Challenge and includes pronunciation support.  

Discuss the importance of language preservation
Use the following questions as discussion starters with your class – "Why is it important for New Zealand's Rotuman community to preserve their language?" Why is it important for all New Zealanders to celebrate and learn Rotuman?" "What benefits will this bring to New Zealanders of Rotuman descent?" You could use this video from Tagata Pasifika and this article to discover information about the Rotuman language and hear the perspectives and concerns of Rotuman New Zealanders.  

Learn some Rotuman words and phrases 
Learn some common words and phrases in Rotuman. This poster from the Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group and this video provide support. 

Get involved in an online event
There are several online events taking place during Rotuman Language Week to promote the language and culture of Rotuma. Events include a church service, online fitness classes, and a Q and A discussion with a panel of expert speakers. The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has a calendar of events and you can join the Facebook community group to stay up to date.

Useful resources

Rotuman language cards
These language cards are tailored to non-speakers of the language and provide a good starting point for all to use. Each provide a pronunciation guide, the alphabet, everyday phrases,  a short prayer and hymn.

Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group Incorporated
The Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Group Incorporated (ARFGI) is a community group whose members have links and an interest in all-things Rotuman. This is the website of the Rotuman of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The goals of the fellowship group are to teach and celebrate Rotuman language and culture, enhance and improve the well-being of Rotumans, and advocate the views and needs of the New Zealand Rotuman community. The website offers information, news, events, and resources.

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Ministry for Pacific Peoples – Pacific language weeks
Rotuman Language Week is the first of nine Pacific language weeks to be held in New Zealand in 2023. Visit the Ministry for Pacific People's page to get updates on other Pacific language weeks. 

National Events and the NZC page provides ideas, resources, and tools to help schools get involved with the various Pacific Language weeks.

Do you have a story to share about Rotuman Language Week?

What Rotuman Language Week projects have your students been involved in?  We would love to hear from you. Drop us a line at nzcurriculum@tki.org.nz. We will publish the best teaching and learning ideas on this resource page.

Updated on: 14 Jan 2022