June 14, 2017
English in class boost Maori skills
A University of Auckland researcher is challenging the idea kura kaupapa Maori should exclusively use te reo Maori.
As part of her doctoral research, Sophie Tauwehe Tamati of Te Puna Wananga School of Maori and Indigenous Education looked at what happens when English is introduced into lessons at years 7 and 8.
What she calls transaquisition, trialled at two kura kaupapa Maori for eight week interventions, gave pupils a better grasp of both languages.
Dr Tamati says it addresses the reality of kura children who don’t live in an exclusively Maori world, and it stands out internationally because it proves that bilingualism and biliteracy development can be accelerated.
It could address the pattern of some parents pulling their children out of kura kaupapa Maori at year 8 and sending them to mainstream high schools to start learning in English.
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