New tools to support te reo Māori in the classroom

Issue: Volume 95, Number 13

Posted: 27 July 2016
Reference #: 1H9d3A

Several new tools for schools to support te reo Māori in the classroom were launched during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The new resources include a trilingual digital book, which has been designed by KIWA Digital and Core Education for deaf Māori students but is accessible to all deaf students.

The Story of Rūaumoko is the first-ever digital book for deaf Māori students. It tells the story of Rūaumoko, the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, narrated by students from Kelston Deaf Education Centre in te reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language and English.

Also available are Paekupu, a website that will house all Māori medium dictionaries, created by He Kupenga Hao i te Reo, and Hou Mai, a video series featuring whānau talking about their journey learning te reo Māori and committing to their children participating in Māori medium education, created by Blue Bach Productions.

The new resources will support and encourage more students, teachers and parents to ‘Give te reo Māori a go’, which was the theme of this year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Māori language and culture are becoming more and more visible in classrooms and homes across the country. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of children and young people learning te reo at school grew from around 133,000 to almost 155,000.

An open heart

Creator of the Hou Mai resource Libby Hakaraia says the ethos behind it is one of inclusivity.

“It speaks from a great heart."

“It’s wide open and inviting – we wanted it to reflect a wide range of voices, including those who are new to Māori medium education, as well as those who are very much about the revitalisation of the language."

“We support the work of kura kaupapa Māori, and we have a lot of whānau in Māori medium education, but we wanted to make a resource relevant to people at all stages of learning the language,” she says.

“The voices in the video are not coming across as the high up experts, but rather as people who are sharing their journey with the language.”

The online resource features 26 short video messages aimed at parents who are perhaps unsure about what Māori medium education for their children might mean.

A range of parents and teachers present these messages, which are divided into four themes: the value of personal commitment to te reo, available learning support, the potential we all have to learn, and the wider personal benefits of learning te reo Māori.

Libby and her team hope that the resource will be widely shared within the education community.

“It’s the sort of thing you can watch by yourself as a parent, or as a whānau. We’re hoping kura will have one on the desk for interested parents."

“All the reo has a transcript to follow if you need it. It’s also a great way to learn some new kupu,” she says.

“We wanted to show that our language is special; it belongs to Māori first and foremost, but it also belongs to all New Zealanders,” says Libby.

“The contributors to our resource talk of the power and excitement of Māori identity, exploration and achievement. They want to welcome people into their world. It’s not a ‘them and us’ type of situation."

“Our language is for all of us.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 10:44 pm, 27 July 2016

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