June 04, 2020
More tamariki using te reo
A new study has found significant growth in the use of Te Reo Māori among pre-schoolers, with nearly three-quarters of four-year-olds using at least some Te Reo Māori.
The research led by Hannah Simmonds of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi analysed information from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study.
It found 10 percent of children could speak or understand simple sentences in Te Reo at age four, and one in five of those children were non-Māori.
Awanuiārangi research director Professor Te Kani Kingi says the fact so many children had some knowledge of te reo was unexpected and encouraging and show the benefits of the past 30 years of investment to promote, sustain and revitalise the language.
Positive factors for language acquisition include attending a Kōhanga Reo, having a mother who speaks Te Reo Māori, and parents reading books, singing songs and playing games with children in any language.
However, higher levels of screen time were associated with lower rates of Te Reo fluency.
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