A new research paper published by The Royal Society of New Zealand today makes the case for a new, stronger national languages policy. It details the role that languages play in international, national, social and personal development. With 160 languages spoken in New Zealand, and language learning not being compulsory in New Zealand schools, is it time to focus more on language learning? For instance, if you find a good place to take French lessons in Sydney, then its a great opportunity to start!
Dr Sharon Harvey, Head of the School of Language and Culture at AUT University outlined some of the issues:
“There are a number of increasingly urgent language issues in New Zealand such as: the uncertain trajectory of Te Reo Māori; the endangered languages of the New Zealand Pacific Realm; minimal recognition for community languages in the education system; and the paucity of support in New Zealand government departments for multilingual citizens, to name but a few. This paper helps us understand how we might address them and what the national picture looks like.”
A talk debating these points is due to be held tomorrow at Tamaki Paenga Hira
(Auckland War Memorial Museum). You can also read the full report here
The winners of the Maori Language Awards 2012 were announced on Friday 16th November at the TECT Arena, Baypark, Tauranga.
Mobile phone giant Vodafone were commended, along with Hika Group, for their part in creating a Maori language iPhone app, which almost 40,000 customers downloaded during Maori Language Week in July.
The Language Awards of course showcase how organisations celebrate Maori Language Week. Dr Cathy Dewes was presented with the Maori Language Individual award for her involvement with a number of te reo initiatives. Dr Dewes is the principal of the landmark language immersion school Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata at Rotorua, and has been a leader in Maori education for almost forty years.
Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you for your passion and dedication to keeping the language alive in New Zealand. It is important to keep the passion for languages, so studying at Language Trainers is always the best option!
Four teachers from New Zealand are visiting Wales in order to learn more about bilingual education. The ladies won a British Council sponsored Linking Minds scholarship for their emerging leadership skills and interest in te reo. The winners are Piata Allen, who teaches at Massey High School in Waitakere, Viki Exter from Roslyn Kindergarten in Palmerston North, Nichola McCall, who teaches physical education at Manurewa High School in Manukau, and Stacey Reriti-Smith, from Natone Park School in Porirua.
The group will visit bilingual schools around Wales during the second week of their trip. The schools include Gynradd Gymraeg Lon Las School in Swansea, Plas Coch School in Wrexham, Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno and Ysgol Treganna in Cardiff.
Simon Dancey, director of British Council Wales, said
“These teachers will have an amazing opportunity to look at parallels between the education systems of New Zealand and Wales. They’ll find out more about language immersion in Welsh schools and understand the role of the Welsh language in society as a whole. British Council prides itself on supporting links between leaders in education from across the world and this collaboration will help teachers from New Zealand further the development and implementation of te reo Maori teaching.”
The Maori Language Awards has been extended until 5pm today. That means you have less than 12 hours to submit applications to get your Maori language initiatives recognised. Categories this year include Maori Language Week (entries must be related to this year’s theme, Arohatia te reo), education, broadcasting, IT and communications, local Government and private sector.
Be sure to meet the criteria before submitting your application.
The awards criteria and entry form can be found online here. Finallists will be announced in September, and the winners will be announced at the ceremony on Friday 16th November at the TECT Arena, Baypark, Tauranga.
Maori Language Week launched today – a special celebration as it marks 25 years of Maori as an official language of New Zealand. The theme of this year’s celebrations, which was announced earlier this year, is Arohatia te Reo – cherish the language.
Mobile phone network Vodafone is offering a free Maori language learning app, Hika Lite, to the first iPhone and Android users to download it.
Some language promo videos for the week have been released on YouTube. These feature Tamati Ellison and Point Chevalier Pirates player Wairangi Koopu, and can be viewed here.
Maori Language Week runs from July 23 – 29.
The Endangered Languages Project was launched today. The project is a collaboration between Google and the Indigenous Language Institute, as well as other members of the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, and aims to provide an online resource to preserve endangered languages through sharing and allowing users to upload text and audio or video clips.
You can do your part to ensure your language is preserved by visiting the website for the project, www.endangeredlanguages.com, which has a map on its landing page with markers on each country for each endangered language. The UK, for example, has Polari listed, which is not a language in itself, but a form of slang used within English. New Zealand has only Maori listed as endangered. Australia, meanwhile, has a lot of red hotspots for endangered languages. When you click on a spot, the name of the language pops up, and when you click on this, you are taken to the homepage of that language, where you can submit and share documents and samples of the language.
A recent Sunday Star-Times reader poll suggested readers were pretty much equally divided on whether the money spent on preserving te reo Maori is worth it.
Professor Kenneth Rehg, an associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawai’i, was in New Zealand recently to speak about the death of languages at Victoria University. He said that his students look up to New Zealand’s efforts to preserve te reo, and that ambivalence is a worldwide issue when dealing with indigenous languages. He thinks that many people don’t acknowledge the obvious benefits of different languages.
“You see the same thing in many places where indigenous people and cultures have been run over. There is an unfortunate attitude from people coming from dominant cultures that they have nothing to learn from indigenous societies. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Source: Fairfax NZ News
Maori TV are to re-launch a dedicated 100% te reo Maori channel, which is called Te Reo. From Monday 16 April, the channel’s weekday broadcast hours will be begin at 4.30pm, rather than 7pm, as it is at the moment. Te Reo’s weekend broadcast schedule will run from 7.00pm to 11.00pm.
The channel will primarily contain programming for children.
Korero Mai was the main language teaching programme to be aired on Maori TV, but the channel will be launching a new live daily Maori language show.
Te Reo is available only on digital and can be accessed via Freeview Satellite channel 24 and SKY channel 59.
New Zealand’s Maori Language Week will be celebrating its’ 25th anniversary this year with the theme of Arohatia te Reo (cherish the language.) The celebration will be held from 23-29th July.
The Maori Language Commission’s Chief Executive, Glenis Philip-Barbara, said “whether you’re a priest, a business executive, a Mum, a student or a fire-fighter, or anything else for that matter – you’ll be able to identify with this theme and find a way to express your love for the language.”
The theme of 2011 was hospitality, which was apt as the country hosted the Rugby World Cup.
School principal Patrick Tangaere recently wrote a cheque as payment to a McDonalds in Gisborne, New Zealand. What’s special about that, I hear you cry. Well, the cheque was written in te reo Maori, and was queried by restaurant manager Leah Hepi.
Mr Tangaere’s argument was that Maori is an official language of New Zealand, and as such, cheques written in Maori should be accepted as legal tender.
Ms Hepi’s response was that she had never come across a cheque written in Maori before, so had it authenticated by the bank over the phone.
Read the whole story here.
Whilst I can see both sides of the story here, it does raise a few issues. (Aside from the school principal taking pupils to eat at McDonalds on a school trip)
As Maori is a national language, and whilst cheques are still legal tender, all retailers must be made aware that they may come across tender in Maori as well as English. However, as cheques are no longer a regular form of payment, could the issue have been avoided altogether?