Te Reo Maori in decline

I’ve just read some sad, but not unsurprising news about the state of Maori language learning in New Zealand. Although te reo Maori learning had a boom in the 90s, with lots of kids learning the language, it has been in steady decline since then. This has been a compounding problem, so now there are fewer fluent Maori speakers, and this also means a lack of people qualified to teach it.

Sadly, the majority of people still think that Maori is on the up-and-up. The Waitangi Tribunal has “warned speaker numbers are declining and said there is a ”deep unease” over the Crown’s response to the decline.”

There have been a few suggestions as to how to address the problems, but nothing has emerged as a real solution. It’s a tough job trying to motivate learners while also having to deal with funding and government issues, but I really hope a successful campaign emerges, as it would be a tragedy to lose such a beautiful, historic language.

Full article: The Dominion Post.

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