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Introduction to teaching Te Reo Māori

Congratulations for choosing to introduce Māori language to your class with Ka Mau te Wehi! An Introduction to Te Reo Māori. Before embarking on a new learning venture, it is always helpful to think about what we hope to achieve. In any class, some learners will already be highly motivated to learn te reo Māori – the Māori language, while others may need convincing that it is worth the effort. Learning a second language has social, cultural, cognitive, intellectual and employment-related benefits. All of these apply to learning te reo Māori but there are additional benefits from learning the indigenous language of Aotearoa. These include enjoying an increased sense of belonging, helping to preserve our national taonga or treasures, gaining insights into our national heritage, and contributing to a more tolerant and enlightened future for Aotearoa.

Reasons for wanting to learn another language are as diverse as the individuals who take up the challenge, and taking time for a class brainstorm about the benefits will be time well spent. The benefits are discussed more fully in curriculum statement Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki.

Using Ka Mau te Wehi! tasks and activities

Central to Ka Mau te Wehi! is a series of DVD scenarios that tell a story about a group of friends. The DVD also discusses new language forms and provides relevant cultural information. Each DVD scenario is supported by a series of group activities that give learners opportunities to use the new language by speaking and responding to others. Learners with some prior knowledge of te reo Māori will enrich group interactions by using vocabulary and expressions they already know.

It may not be necessary for all learners to do all of the suggested tasks. Some learners will have had considerable exposure to te reo Māori outside the school and will progress through the first few units very quickly. Where all learners are beginners, it may be necessary to watch the DVD and repeat a task several times before moving on. As in any other curriculum area, some students will learn faster than others. The teacher, along with the learners themselves, is in the best position to decide on the appropriate pace.

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