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Boost your use of te reo Māori


Te Wiki o te reo Māori/Māori Language Week offers a great opportunity to celebrate and learn te reo Māori at your school. But what happens when the week is over? This blog post highlights resources, tools, and school stories to help you carry the momentum of this one concentrated week of language learning into the rest of the school year.

Te reo Māori is one of two official languages of New Zealand. By learning te reo Māori, students are able to:

  • participate with understanding and confidence in situations where te reo and tikanga Māori predominate and to integrate language and cultural understandings into their lives
  • strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity in the world
  • broaden their entrepreneurial and employment options to include work in an ever-increasing range of social, legal, educational, business, and professional settings. (NZC, p14)

Teaching te reo Māori in English medium schools is everyone's responsibility ... All New Zealanders, as New Zealanders, have the right to learn teo reo Māori at school ... This is a language that belongs to us as a country.

Tamara Bell, from EdTalks – Te reo Māori in English medium schools

He pātai

Some questions

  • As a teacher, leader, or parent, what is your vision for the teaching and learning of te reo Māori at your school?
  • How can you support the delivery of te reo Māori in the classroom?
  • In what ways can whānau be involved in your te reo Māori teaching and learning programme?

There is no Pākehā way of saying Māori words
A YouTube clip featuring Finnian Galbraith, a year 11 student, emphasises to New Zealand the importance of correctly pronouncing Māori words. In the clip, Finnian proposes that it should be compulsory for students to have at least one hour of te reo Māori learning per week, and that all teachers have a basic knowledge of the language as well.

  • Share Finnian's speech with staff, students, parents, families, and whānau at your school.
  • What are some beginning steps that you could take to work towards Finnian's vision of better pronunication and greater knowledge of te reo Māori in your school community?
  • What are some longer term strategies that you could put in place to ensure that teaching and learning in te reo Māori flourishes?

Ngā kōrero ā-kura

Stories that give examples of effective pedagogy that you can try in your own context.

Growing te reo Māori capabilities
Tracey Hopkins outlines the te reo Māori professional development programme in place at Hukanui School. Tracey explains how teachers are supported in their own personal learning, and also in their teaching of te reo Māori to their students.

Leading whole-school te reo Māori development
The staff and board of Hukanui School decided that they would like to focus on te reo Māori development within their school. Principal David Mossop explains that it is very important as a leader to provide clear direction and to identify with the staff.

Te reo Māori and language acquisition
Teachers from Hukanui School are mentored in their own learning as well as being supported with professional development in language acquisition teaching skills. In this way teachers are not only equipped with support for the language, but also with how to effectively teach the language to others.

Improving fluency in te reo Māori through Photo Booth
Students at Firth Primary School in Matamata developed fluency and confidence in te reo Māori using Photo Booth.

Online resources supporting te reo and tikanga Māori
Te Kura o Tiori Burnham School principal, Rob Clarke talks about setting up Taha Māori @ Te Kura o Tiori as part of their school website. The intention of the site is to bring together elements from their whānau hui action plan including basic vocabulary in te reo Māori and tikanga.


Teaching and learning ideas

  • Try using Facebook terms in te reo Māori. You could challenge older students to write posts and comments in te reo too.
  • Look at Kotahi Mano Kaika, a Ngāi Tahu initiative, where you can download resources such as kōrero cards, posters, and books in te reo Māori.
  • Choose a phrase, whakataukī and/or kīwaha of the week each week. Encourage students to explore their meaning, find examples, and share their learning at home.
  • Use the iPad/iPhone app Sock Puppets to record conversations in te reo Māori and share them with your community on the school website or class blog.
  • Tellagami is a mobile app (ios and Android) that lets you create and share a quick animation. Tellagami is a great way for students to share their mahi in a non-threatening way and hear themselves speaking te reo Māori.
  • Download the Kura App to find a range of games modules that allow users to improve their knowledge and understanding of the Māori language. Users are timed and can pit their skills against others via a scoreboard. 

Rauemi ipurangi

Online resources

He Reo Kōmanawa: images to inspire teaching and learning te reo Māori
He Reo Kōmanawa opens up exciting opportunities for teaching te reo Māori in meaningful and culturally appropriate contexts.

He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora
He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora is a multimedia resource that provides opportunities for students to learn te reo Māori at primary school.

Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners
Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners has been developed by the Ministry of Education, along with the New Zealand Teachers Council and a Reference Group of academics, teacher education practitioners, and iwi representatives involved in iwi educational initiatives.

Te reo Māori in English-medium schools
On this site you can access an e-copy of Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki, the Māori Language Curriculum Guidelines for Years 1–13. There are also many resources to support these curriculum guidelines – including lesson plans, school stories, second language tasks, high-frequency vocabulary, a grammar progression, and teacher/student assessment examples.

NCEA Te reo Māori subject resources
Resources for NCEA including assessment guides and teacher workshops. Accompanied by a Facebook page that highlights current news and events in relation to NCEA te reo Māori.

Te Whanake
Te Whanake is a set of textbooks, study guides, CDs, teachers' manuals and a dictionary for learning and teaching Māori language. This website also provides access to a further range of associated free online resources for independent learning and interaction. These online resources support the four core textbooks and study guides of the Māori language programme.

cultural diversity
māori achievement
treaty of Waitangi