Te reo Māori – a taonga for us all

Issue: Volume 99, Number 14

Posted: 3 September 2020
Reference #: 1HAAWp

As we prepare to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, kaiako Jamie Taylor reflects on one of her key go-to sites for te reo Māori educational resources: Kauwhata Reo.

In 2019, Minister Kelvin Davis launched the Kauwhata Reo website(external link) to support the growing need for te reo Māori resources that are available and accessible on one central platform. It is designed for all users of te reo Māori, regardless of language proficiency.

For Jamie Taylor, who teaches a bilingual Year 1–4 class at Linton Camp School in Palmerston North, Kauwhata Reo has been a treasure trove of te reo Māori resources.

She initially started using the site to access the different curriculum. But it wasn’t long before she was delving deeper into Kauwhata Reo to access tools like the e-books from Ngā Kete Kōrero for her literacy programme.

“In our class we read in English and in Māori, so I was teaching the same decoding skills with those books online as well. Look at the pictures, get a clue, and so on. The children realise that they understand more than they thought they did. Even the parents realised, ‘hey actually I know a lot of words in those books!’”

Jamie has found the resources on Kauwhata Reo to be a great tool to help engage parents and whānau – especially when students were learning online from home during Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Jamie made a QR code that her students could scan on their devices, linking them to Ngā Kete Kōrero where they could select the books they wanted to read. She sent this code to the students’ family journals on Seesaw.

“It took the pressure off whānau who aren’t confident in reading Māori because it reads it to them.”

Jamie also found the Atua resources on Kauwhata Reo useful when it came to their school production. “We used the images to help us to recreate an actual costume that the kids wore for our production.”

Jamie also uses Kauwhata Reo as a resource to help support her colleagues in English medium classes with teaching and learning te reo Māori.

They are very much on board with raising the profile of te reo Māori in the wider school community, she says.

Jamie would love to see a senior bilingual class introduced at her school. She says the bilingual approach is about so much more than learning te reo Māori.

“It’s not just about the language, it’s also the culture in the class. It’s a big part of the students’ identity. That’s really important and it’s quite noticeable in terms of the success of the tamaiti. Once they feel safe and proud of who they are and what they’re doing – everything else in other areas is spiked up too. That’s what I’m in it for – and for te reo Māori.”

Jamie is looking forward to Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

“We’re already planning our Te Wiki o te Reo Māori celebration. Last year we joined the hikoi in Wellington. How do I top that?! I think I’m going to ask the kids for their ideas.” 

‘Tahi, rua, toru, whā, rima’: what will your Māori Language Moment involve?

Share your school’s Māori Language Moment | Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori

Schools have started to sign up to this year’s Māori Language Moment |
Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori as they prepare to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

What you do for your Māori Language Moment is up to you. It could be as easy as playing a Māori language song, pausing to do the daily quiz in te reo, or starting lunch with a karakia. It’s an open invitation to celebrate te reo for a moment, a week, a month or even the whole year-round.

Sign up to take part in the Māori Language Moment(external link)
Share your Māori Language event(external link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 1:55 pm, 3 September 2020

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