‘If you know the word in te reo, use it’

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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.’’

EMMA JAMES

Leam­ing­ton School prin­ci­pal Mike Mal­colm said ev­ery week was Ma¯ori Lan­guage Week. Mike Mal­colm.

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