My journey with te reo Māori

By Sujatha Gomathinayagam, Kaitakawaenga | Facilitator, Tātai Angitu, Massey University

Last year I facilitated a teaching and learning session which focused on the contexts and expectations around Te Tiriti led teaching. This session prompted me to think whether the principles and values of Te Tiriti o Waitangi were visible and recognised in my professional practice and engagement with the teaching community that I serve.

Massey University is on a journey of being a Te Tiriti led university.

Within my role as a Facilitator at Tātai Angitu, I reflected on my own engagement and application of Paerangi, Massey University’s learning and teaching strategy. I could vouch for the fact that I was confident in the understanding of the significance – ‘the why’ of Te Tiriti led teaching and to some extent I was also sure about ‘the how’ of weaving the principles of Te Tiriti in teaching.

The main issue for me was to propel myself to actively use te reo Māori and for that, the first practical step was to enrol in a te reo Māori course and commit to active learning. So, I enrolled in Te Ara Reo Māori, a course run by Te Wananga o Aotearoa, to study the language and enhance my language competency. The course affirms some of my previous knowledge while adding key insights and new skills around the language and its application.

The language learning journey is interesting and challenging, and my progress is slow and steady, but I realise that a small beginning is better than none.

Like the whakatauki reiterates- “ahakoa he iti he pounamu”, although small, it is precious.

Watch this space e te whānau! I will post some snippets of my process and progress in my language learning journey.

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