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Providing an environment that encourages use of te reo Māori

Using te reo Māori for genuine communication, not only during the te reo Māori lesson but throughout the day, will enhance motivation and demonstrate that Māori is a living, meaningful language. Teachers who are themselves learners of Māori could begin by using te reo Māori for greetings, farewells, calling the roll, and saying the date each day. As teachers and learners progress through the units and tasks, you will encounter and begin to use other words and phrases that have special appeal or relevance for you.

Integrating te reo Māori into other subject areas wherever possible is particularly valuable, as is giving positive feedback in Māori when learners speak Māori spontaneously, either in and outside the classroom. Another way to support learning is to have a range of te reo Māori books, magazines, CDs and DVDs available in the classroom as well as in the school library. Learners should also be alerted to other opportunities to hear and speak Māori outside the school, for example by attending hui (where appropriate), watching Māori-language television, and visiting Māori art exhibitions and kapa haka performances.

Errors and risk taking

Students need to know early on that mistakes and errors are a natural and inevitable part of learning another language. Those who are prepared to take risks and learn from their mistakes will make better progress than those who delay speaking because they are afraid of getting things wrong. Creating a relaxed, supportive environment where learners feel able to experiment with new language forms is crucial. In an atmosphere of trust there is room for laughter, which is a good way of relieving tension, provided that students are laughing with, and not at, others.

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