Language Transcends GenerationsBy Mereana Selby July 2012
Te Kura Reo ki te Au ki Te Tonga
It is well known that the survival of a people and their culture is intrinsically linked to the survival of their language. It is our language that transcends generations, allowing the past and the present to continue an ancient dialogue born in the time of our creation.
It is our language that will ensure our mokopuna will see through Māori eyes and know what it is to perceive the world through a Māori ‘reality’ or worldview.
Te Reo immersion at Wānanga
This week sees approximately 150 students descending on Ōtaki, specifically Te Wānanga o Raukawa, to engage in an intensive week long Te Reo Māori immersion course known as Kura Reo. The Māori language and its survival is a high priority for Te Wānanga o Raukawa so we are thrilled to have the opportunity to host such an esteemed delegation and support the kaupapa of this Kura.
These week long Kura Reo courses are held throughout the country every year by well known Te Reo Māori exponents such as Doctor Tīmoti Kāretu, Doctor Wharehuia Milroy, Materoa Haenga and our very own Pakake Winiata among others. There are varying degrees of capability within the class; however as Māori is the only acceptable language for the entire week; it is aimed at those with a reasonable command of Te Reo Māori. While the immersion experience can be unnerving, there is no doubt it is one of the quickest ways to improve competency and confidence.
Wide range of skills taught
Students move back and forth from small to large group sessions and rotate through a circuit spending time with each tutor on specific aspects of the Māori language. A wide range of activities are covered including grammar and comprehension, whaikōrero and karanga, translations, proverbs and other key aspects of language acquisition.
The constellation we know as Matariki signalling the Māori New Year, still lingers in our skies, reminding us of the responsibility we have to focus our energies on the year ahead and most importantly on our goal of our survival as a people. So I am delighted that staff of Te Wānanga o Raukawa form part of the make-up of Te Kura Reo ki te Au ki Te Tonga and look forward to attending some of this week’s activities.