Māori Language Resources for Teachers | SchoolNews
Resources to help teachers prepare for Māori Language Week and to normalise use of Te Reo in the classroom.
He uri nō Koterana e mihi nei. Ko Benechie te maunga. Ko Dee te awa. Ko North te moana. Engari, he Māori āku tamariki, nō Ngāti Awa. Aku taura here ki te kaupapa o te reo Māori me te mātauranga Māori ko rātou ko āku mokopuna.
It is 16 years since the paucity of Māori language resources was highlighted by educator Ian Christensen in his PhD dissertation (2001) on Māori language revitalisation. At the same time, an audit by Te Puni Kōkiri reached a similar conclusion. In 2007, the Education Review Office (ERO) reviewed curriculum materials that support the teaching and learning of te reo in the English medium sector. They acknowledged that resources were limited – a situation that was both disempowering for teachers and limiting for learners. ERO recommended that future resources should:
- support the range of English medium students’ proficiency levels;
- be informed by the Māori language curriculum guidelines (Te Aho Arataki Marau); and reflect current second language teaching and learning theories.
The audit by TPK and the review by ERO also drew attention to a lack of professional development to help teachers use the ministry’s Māori language resources.
More recently, the Waitangi Tribunal expressed concern about the lack of Māori language resources. And, in an unpublished thesis, Jackman discussed the reality of student disengagement due to the lack of suitable Māori language materials. Jackman found that children were hōhā having to do the same worksheets each year during Māori Language Week.
Professional development to support the teaching and learning of Māori
There are two core MoE resources for the teaching and learning of Māori language in English medium primary schools (years one to six); namely:
- – Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i te reo Māori – Kura Auraki (2009), the Māori language curriculum guidelines for years one to 13; and
- – He Reo Tupu He Reo Ora (2011), the multimedia resource for the teaching of te reo Māori in years one to six.
There is a (relatively new) process for schools who want to access centrally-funded PD around these resources – and indeed any associated kaupapa e.g. upskilling teachers’ Māori language proficiency; teaching in a culturally responsive way; unpacking the principles in Ka Hikitia; exploring the cultural competencies in Tātaiako.
Firstly, having identified a need for the PD, schools must submit a proposal, to express interest in accessing such training. Then, if successful, schools will choose from a list of preferred PD providers – currently published on the Ministry of Education (MoE) website, with a two-page summary of their relevant knowledge and experience.
Thereafter, the provider and the school will co-construct a delivery plan – setting out the desired outcomes of the PD, with progress measures. For example, one of the outcomes could be for staff to use Māori language resources in the classroom in a meaningful way – to enhance students’ learning of te reo Māori.
Hitherto, this funding process has been handled by the MoE. However, the new education minister has recently announced that teachers’ access to PD will now be managed by the Education Council, a body that is independent from the Ministry.
Te reo Māori – a core curriculum subject or not?
Also topical at the moment is the fact that NZCER has just published a report (commissioned by the Māori Language Commission) recommending that te reo Māori should be a core curriculum subject – beginning with Year 1 students in 2020, until it is being taught at all levels by 2037.
NZEI has responded to this proposal with caution, even though the professional body recognises wholeheartedly the importance of valuing the indigenous language of this country and acknowledges the positive impact for Māori students. Teachers’ reservations emanate from their feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence. Hence their plea to the Ministry for increased support and resources.