Caption: Andrew is continuing to create opportunities to include a greater range of kupu and kīwaha into the video and web conference resources he develops through LEARNZ virtual field trips. Image: LEARNZ.
Over time, I have come to appreciate how the Māori language is intimately woven into the fabric of nature, history, customs, and beliefs. I see much more clearly now how te reo is an essential element of Māoritanga — more than just a means to communicate. In a blog I wrote last year, titled ‘A Stranger in a Strange Land?’, I talked about why I think learning te reo is one of the best ways to develop empathy for Māori culture. In part of that blog I said that it was:
…the active learning of Māori language which I believe is the key to breaking through Pākehā paralysis to a point where Pākehā educators have an experiential understanding of Māori language and culture, not just an intellectual understanding, to make the teaching and learning environment a properly inclusive one.
(For more information on the notion of Pākehā paralysis, watch Alex Hotere-Barnes on EDtalks).
In that blog, I also explored my own te reo Māori journey. “I’ll let you know how things are progressing in my next blog!” I said. Well, here it is!
Te Reo Manahua Māori
Last year, I enrolled in Te Reo Manahua Māori, an intermediate course for te reo Māori. This course is part of CORE’s ngaiotanga/professional learning services, and is preceded by Te Reo Puāwai Māori, the Stage 1 beginners’ course. Both courses are online, with an opportunity to attend a face-to-face hui at both the beginning and end of the course.
The courses are organised within the Moodle platform, which made the content easy to follow, flexible, and allowed for a range of different media to suit various learning styles. Additionally, the weekly Adobe Connect session was a great opportunity to connect with other course participants, to share and reinforce the week’s learning. I also found the Adobe Connect sessions helpful in a sense that I could interact with others at a similar stage of te reo learning journey, which gave me a sense of reassurance that what I was doing was of value.
Commitment and encouragement
I admit that, at times, I felt somewhat overwhelmed with what I didn’t know (and that I still need to learn!) Such is the nature of learning, eh! But, making the commitment to take part in Te Reo Manahua Māori was a key step in the right direction. And it wasn’t like I felt forced to carry on with my te reo learning just because I had made this commitment — it was more that I felt encouraged, for which I give credit to the course facilitators and the way the learning experience has been structured.
Although I am no longer teaching in a classroom setting, I could certainly see how one could translate learning within the course into lessons for students. For my job as a LEARNZ virtual field trip teacher, Te Reo Manahua Māori has increased my repertoire of kupu (vocabulary), as well as the confidence to use these words; improved my whakahua (pronunciation); and I am gradually incorporating a greater range of kīwaha (idioms) into field trip videos and web conferences. My next step is continuing to search for and find opportunities to further my learning in this space.
Latest posts by Andrew Penny (see all)
- Five tips for connecting with your students through video - May 20, 2020
- My reo journey continues - July 27, 2017
- A stranger in a strange land? - May 27, 2016