Maori Language Week: 3-10 July
Nau mai, haere mai ki te wiki o te reo Maori!
Welcome to Maori language week which, in my view, is a bit like saying ‘welcome to healthy eating week’ or ‘welcome to physical fitness week,’ because te reo Maori is not something we bottle up just to be used on one week of the year: at least, not at Wakefield School. Still, we can appreciate the value of having a week where the Maori language is celebrated and all of us, Maori and non-Maori, are encouraged to give it a go and enjoy the pleasure and virtue of learning something new.
And it works. If you were at our assembly last Friday you would have been struck by how well even our very young children speak te reo Maori. The assembly was hosted by the children from Matai Kereru (five and six year olds) and they maintained te reo Maori throughout, from mihi to comments on each others’ presentations. They showed spirit and resolve - kia kaha!
Language is a cornerstone of culture and identity - the more you possess the richer you become. When we step beyond our first language and begin to explore others we expand our brains, our sense of self and our knowledge of the world. When one of those languages is Maori we also in a small way become guardians - kaitiaki - of a national treasure. Seen in this light, how many of our learner profile elements would learning Maori capture? Communication, motivation, open-mindedness, respect, enthusiasm - to name a few.
We celebrate Maori language this week and always for enriching our lives and supporting our tamariki to become confident lifelong learners.
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