Heritage Language Programs - Tongan

Tongan for Native Speakers Class
West High School
Salt Lake City School District

Download this profile as a pdf file

Address: 440 E. 100 S. Salt Lake City, Utah

Contact: Uinise Lange

Email: uinise.langi@slc.k12.ut.us / Uinise.Lange@umbc.edu

Telephone: (801) 578-8599

Languages: Tongan


Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: To interest Tongan students in the class so that they stay in school and successfully complete their other classes and graduate.

Type of program

Program mission statement: To keep Tongan students in high school and encourage them to graduate.

Program origins:The program will begin its first classes in the fall of 2006

Program funding: The program received special funding.

Parents' expectations for the program: To improve students’ comprehension of and writing in of the Tongan language. Additionally, the program aims to teach other cultural and historical aspects of Tongan. For example, topics might include the differences between Tongan and US culture.

Staff's expectations for the program: The course is being offered part time now in hopes that the course will be offered full time in the future.


Second generation immigrants: 100%

Countries of origin: Tongan/American

Total student enrollment: As many as 40 in the first year

Identification of a heritage speaker:


Languages in which the staff members are proficient: Tongan and English

Level of proficiency: A minimum of Intermediate High on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview (ACTFL OPI) is required by the state.


Teacher certification: Alternative certification and endorsement process

Professional development opportunities teachers have: ACTFL OPI

Professional development opportunities teachers need: Licensing and endorsement


Hours per week students receive instruction: 5

Student Grouping: Students are grouped in one high school level class.

Heritage Skills

Skills and levels of language proficiency students will reach by the end of the program: A basic proficiency to advance to Tongan for Native Speakers II


Kind of student identity the program will foster: Respect for their native culture


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program:This program is primarily orally oriented, because this enables the instructors to provide comparisons of Tongan culture and language with US culture and language.


Textbook: No texts are available.

Other materials: Collection of miscellaneous publications

Technology: CDs only. Most families do not have access to technology at home.



Local/National connections: The program receives students from Utah Electronic High School – (online courses).

Home-school connections: Some exercises are expected to be conducted with the involvement of the parents at home.

Opportunities students have for using the language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program: At home

What the program has in place

Financial support

Assistance or collaboration your program would you like to receive from other entities: Sharing information with others who have set up a similar program

System for graduating students and granting credit for study in the program: Students will receive credit for language beginning the second year.

Research on or evaluation of the program: We expect to do research on the program. However, this can be difficult, because the program is still forming its foundations.

Special Challenges and Comments

Back to the list of program profiles.