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Where can we go next?

This clip discusses students’ hunger for new vocabulary – often beyond the teachers’ own knowledge – such that other strategies are needed, for example, using the dictionary, coining new words through transliterations, seeking out experts in the community or in other schools.


The teachers’ notes provide a comprehensive glossary of high frequency words and key phrases. As confidence with the language increases, teachers may experience some students moving from levels of general engagement to real demand for language beyond the language provided in the resource.

The children are always asking for more, more language. They.....you know, they are happy with a little bit at the start just while we're introducing it, a little bit of the mīti and the tīhi, but then they want to know how to say I want more tīhi.. or I want...So there is always a demand for more.

Catherine Allen – Brooklyn School

Sometimes a student will come to me and they would like to know a particular word, or a phrase, and I don't know the answer, so I say well we are all learners too, and we try the dictionary, and there are some on-line dictionaries as well.

Eleanor Ainsworth – Northland School

In some cases, students may ask for vocabulary where an answer may not always be readily available. To avoid communication breakdown, one strategy in second language acquisition is to form transliterated words.

I've made contacts throughout the community so I can give them a call or an email. And that has been really helpful for the students to see that I'm still a learner. I'm not a fluent te reo speaker. But it’s also been really important that I have got them an answer as well, and to show them the different sources you can go to get that information, and that answer that you want. It is really important that we encourage them to keep asking those questions.

Eleanor Ainsworth – Northland School

I think we have been lucky, Eleanor mentioned contacts. Two other schools actually, two local schools who have teachers there who possibly are more capable than we are with their te reo Māori, who have actually been very generous in giving us advice.

Matt Barnacott – Northland School


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