December 18, 2014
Reo revival lessons shared
Maori and Hawaiian language studies experts have been comparing notes on ways to revive their respective languages.
A group of staff and students from the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu have spent time this month at AUT University’s Te Ipukarea National Maori Language Institute and the International Centre for Language Revitalisation.
Associate Professor Leilani Basham says in the late 1980s Hawaii saw what was happening with kohanga reo and set up punana leo pre-schools and kula kaiaouni schools where young children can be immersed in the language.
She says these programmes are helping Hawai’i break away from a history of language disconnect and forced assimilation that started in 1896 when English was made the only medium of instruction, shortly before Hawaii was annexed by the United States.
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