Kia Kaha te Pukapuka Reo Maori i te Kainga

Louise Whaanga (Ngāti Kahungunu) has written an article for The Sapling (14 Sept 2018) titled 'Kia Kaha te Pukapuka Reo Maori i te Kainga', available here. Quoting from the synopsis:

Revitalising a language and raising a family are both harrowing, amazing tasks. What happens when you do both at the same time? In celebrating Māori Language Week, Louise Whaanga (Ngāti Kahungunu) shares a wonderful account of the role Māori language children's literature plays in their whare.

Excerpts from the article:

Books build word power. Reading expands language and vocabulary into realms outside of the everyday, repetitive language of the home. One thing you find out as a parent of bilingual children is that opportunities for exposure to good quality reo are limited. And so, the ability of books to fill our kete kupu [word bank] is invaluable.

Something else we all associate with picture books is reading together and the precious bond that is created through sharing a book. On the subject of creating bonds, it has been recognised that the language spoken between two people at the start of a relationship will be the most normal and natural for them to speak from that time forward. This goes for parents and children too. So, if you hope to have a reo Māori or bilingual relationship with your child the earlier you start, the better. Te reo Māori picture books can form an important part of that dialogue especially if the parent is a second language learner – fake it till you make it!

Posted: Monday 17 September 2018