The French Polynesian opposition politician, Oscar Temaru, says education and economic development need to be aligned which he says means the language of instruction has to be English.
Mr Temaru made the call on local television as the territory has been told that its students achieve less well than those in France.
He says more visitors would be more at ease if they meet English-speaking people.
His words are translated.
"We have to teach our children in English. I'm not saying we have to teach English to our children, we have to teach our children in English. Just look at the countries that surround us."
Oscar Temaru says he wants the issue to be debated.
Education in French Polynesia is funded by France at a cost of more than 700 million US dollars a year.