‘If you know the word in te reo, use it’
learn te reo.
‘‘There’s some negativity around it, and people say ‘oh but you can only speak that in New Zealand’ but there are a lot of languages you can only speak in one country.
‘‘If I told someone I spoke Welsh, they would think that’s pretty cool, they wouldn’t say it can only be spoken in one country so therefore it’s pointless.’’
He once met some people visiting from Europe who spoke eight languages and they were excited to learn te reo.
‘‘They weren’t bothered it could only be spoken in New Zealand, they were excited to be adding a ninth language to their knowledge,’’ said Malcolm.
So for Leamington School, no particular activities were planned for Ma¯ori Language Week.
‘‘We don’t separate the languages, we integrate Ma¯ori language and Ma¯ori concepts into every lesson,’’ he said.
‘‘If you know the te reo word for it, you use it.
‘‘And it doesn’t matter if you get it wrong, it shows that it’s okay to be learning a new language.’’
He felt there had been a cultural shift, and that other ethnicitys were becoming more accepted too.
‘‘We want the kids to feel culturally located and we try to incorporate everyone’s culture into our lessons.
‘‘We might not be able to incorporate other languages like we can with te reo but if every student feels culturally located, they will feel more involved.’’
Leamington School principal Mike Malcolm said every week was Ma¯ori Language Week. Mike Malcolm.