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Niue Language Week

This year Niue Language Week runs from 15 October and will end on Saturday 21 October 2017. The goal of the week is “Ke fakamau, fakamanatu mo e fakaaoga tumau e Vagahau Niue”, that is, “the maintenance, retention and development of Vagahau Niue (Niue language).”

Fakaalofa lahi atu!  

This special week gives speakers of Vagahau Niue the chance to be experts in the classroom, and allows whānau and the wider Niue community to see their language and culture being treasured in New Zealand schools. This resource page offers ideas and resources to help you celebrate Vagahau Niue Week with your students and school community.

Did you know?

  • Niue is one of the smallest countries on earth and the largest raised coral atoll.
  • Niue peoples are the fourth largest Pacific community living in Aotearoa New Zealand with 23,883 people, 77% of whom live in Auckland. (2013 Census)
  • Most Niue peoples in the world (74 percent) were born in New Zealand.

Links to The New Zealand Curriculum

Vagahau Niue Week supports the curriculum principles of cultural diversity and inclusion, and provides an opportunity for students to:

  • demonstrate the vision of connection to a global community 
  • explore the values of diversity, community, and respect 
  • achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages area 
  • make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols and texts, and relating to others.

By teaching Pasifika languages, schools can help meet the vision and goals of the Pasifika Education Plan 2013–2017 (PEP). PEP is aimed at raising Pasifika learners’ participation, engagement, and achievement in education from early learning through to tertiary level. The Plan’s vision is to see: "Five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages and cultures and contributing fully to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing". One of the high level Government goals for Pasifika education is for emphasis on the importance of Pasifika identities, languages, and cultures.

What could your school do to celebrate?

  • Use this blog post to investigate what the word Niue means and to explore the importance and use of the coconut in Niue.
  • Read "My First Pay-Packet" by Lino Nelisi (School Journal Pt 04 No. 3, 1990, 35–39). Suggestions are given for writing a play based on this story. Challenge your students to include as many Vagahau Niue words and phrases as they can.
  • Inspired by “You know you are Niuean when…” , ask your Niue students to give a speech on this theme. Make it into a YouTube clip, or ask other schools in your cluster to participate and use it as a theme for a speech competition.
  • Ask students to create a Vagahau Niue resource that can be used by teachers across the school.
  • Ask a grandparent or parent to come and read to children in the classroom/library at lunchtime. Check your resource room for Vagahau Niue titles from the Pasifika dual language resources
  • If students have Vagahau Niue speakers at home, give them Vagahau Niue books to take home.

Key resources

Vagahau Niue Language Guidelines (PDF 8.4MB)
Tau Hatakiaga ma e Vagahau Niue: The Niue Language Guidelines offers pathways for strengthening the knowledge and use of the Niue language. It has been designed to support Niue as an additional language in New Zealand early childhood and school settings. It sets out what learners need in order to communicate effectively in Niue, includes suggestions for the teaching and learning of Niue, and is aligned with Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum.

Haia! An introduction to Vagahau Niue (PDF 6 MB)
This communicative language resource provides an integrated package of materials designed to offer flexible, entry-level lessons for teachers and students who are new learners of Vagahau Niue. 

Vagahau Niue Trust website 
Visit this website for the latest language week resources. View some useful Vagahau Niue words and phrases here

Christchurch City Libraries: Niue Language Week 
In Christchurch, there are over 495 people of Niuean heritage. This page highlights resources about Niue and the Niuean language.

All about the Rock: Niuean language week
This Te Papa blog shares 10 things you should know about Niue.

Niuean Language Week
This resource offers a series of Niuean heritage images from Auckland libraries.

LEAP
LEAP is a professional learning resource developed for teachers working in mainstream New Zealand classrooms with bilingual Pasifika students.

Inclusive Education Guides for Schools – Supporting Pasifika students
This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Pasifika students.

Have you seen?

Effective teaching for Pasifika students – Language
This film shows the benefits of valuing and sharing the languages that Pasifika students bring with them into the classroom.

EDtalk: Using technology to preserve the Niuean language
Emani Fakaotimanava-lui describes the loss of Vagahau Niue, and outlines a number of ways that technology is being used to preserve and share the language.

School Journal resources

Three Journal stories that would work well to support this learning are:

John Pule, Artist of the Pacific by Gregory O'Brien 
L4 Oct 2012
This article describes the life and work of John Pule, a well-known Pasifika artist and poet. 

Cooking an Uga by John Hart
Pt 01 No. 5 2004, 23-26
This short recount tells how the children of Room 12 cook an uga as part of their class study about crabs.
Teacher support material (PDF 800KB).

Kiu and Ugauga by Aiao Kaulima
Pt 01 No. 4 2004, 23-26
This Niuean legend explains why Kiu has a shrill cry. He is outsmarted in a race with the slow-moving hermit crab, Ugauga, and is so upset that he can't stop crying. The legend is similar to the traditional tale "The Hare and the Tortoise".
Teacher support material (PDF 800KB).

Updated on: 16 Aug 2017


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