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Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki

Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1-13

Te reo Māori me ngā tikanga
Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori

Languages are inseparably linked to the social and cultural contexts in which they are used. Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities. Every language has its own ways of expressing meanings; each has intrinsic value and special significance for its users.

The New Zealand Curriculum, p.24

There is an inherent connection between language and culture: language is embedded in culture and also expresses culture. The culture and practices of the people who share a language are dynamic within a changing world.

By learning te reo Māori, students discover that speaking a different language involves much more than simply conveying the same message in different words. Communicating in another language means being sensitive not only to what is said but also to how it is said and to what is left unsaid. Every language involves visual features as well as words, and indirect messages as well as direct ones.

Effective teachers of te reo Māori take cultural considerations into account throughout their programmes so that their students are always aware that te reo Māori and tikanga Māori are inseparable. They introduce and revise language in the context of topics associated with concepts, attitudes and values (socio-cultural aspects) of significance to Māori. They also provide their students with opportunities to develop the confidence to operate in Māori contexts. To support teachers, these curriculum guidelines suggest possible socio-cultural themes at each of the eight curriculum levels. These themes include critical aspects of tikanga Māori (such as the existence and significance of appropriate protocols for particular situations).

In the early stages of learning te reo Māori, some teachers may include information in English about the attitudes and values associated with te ao Māori. Others may prefer to embed this learning within the daily practices and routines of the classroom community, while others may combine these approaches.

As they become more proficient in te reo Māori, students develop the ability to use the language to discuss aspects of Māori culture and to relate these to the cultural views embedded in other languages, including English. They become increasingly aware that speakers of the same language do not necessarily share an identical set of cultural beliefs and practices. Students learn that there are linguistic and cultural differences between groups (iwi and hapū) in different regions of New Zealand, for example, differences in kawa – local protocols or tikanga, as well as some very important similarities. The language and culture are not simple or one-dimensional; they are rich, complex and varied.

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