17 Dec 2012

New law upholding Palauan may stop older people taking it for granted

8:09 pm on 17 December 2012

A New Zealand lecturer in Pacific Studies says a new law upholding the Palauan language may influence older generations to stop taking it for granted.

The new law instructs all schools in Palau to offer courses in the Palauan language to students from grade one to twelve.

Melenaita Taumoefolau says the law may mean older people learn to value the language and it will also ensure the younger generations preserve it.

"If we want to revive a language, uphold it, we need to go to the children and the youthful population. And we still need the adult population to provide the model of the language, the input for the children to learn. So having compulsory courses of Palauan at school, may ensure that there is at least input of the language."

Melenaita Taumoefolau says now that the law is in place, she hopes the government will commit to funding the teaching of the language.