What I enjoy about our te reo Māori lectures is the style of learning used. Our ‘classroom’ isn’t the typical lecture theatre you might expect. It is a large room, with chairs in a semi-circle (no desks), lots of open space, a whiteboard at one end, and a guitar nearby. Our lecturer will use the whiteboard to teach us language points, then we move into small groups for the pronunciation part of the lecture, usually 2 – 4 people at most. It’s a really good way to meet your classmates and we already have the tools to greet someone and ask a few simple introductory questions.
In today’s lecture, we began, as usual, with a karakia and waiata, then a recap of au (ahau)/koe/ia using some of the kupu hou learned last week.
Kia ora Tracy! Kei te pēhea koe?
Hi Tracy! How are you?
Kia ora e Mere. Kei te tino pai ahau. A koe?
Hi Mere. I’m great! And you?
After a game of wharewhare (housie/BINGO) we looked at extending the phrase Kei te pēhea to include ‘time’:
- i tēnei ata (this morning)
- i tēnei ahiahi (this afternoon)
- i tēnei rā (this day or today)
- i tēnei wā (at this time / at this moment)
Kia ora Tracy! Kei te pēhea koe i tēnei rā?
Hi Tracy! How are you today?
Kia ora e Mere! Kei te tino pai ahau i tēnei ra. A koe?
Hi Mere! I’m great today. And you?
Within our lecture, we have a section that requires you to mingle with others, usually one-on-one. During this time, we greet someone new, introduce ourselves, and ask that person what their name is. Our class is fairly large, and I don’t think I’ve introduced myself to everyone just yet. We are always encouraged to try things, to make mistakes and to feel safe and comfortable in doing so. I get the feeling of being ‘safe’ in every class and I really like that.
Another game we played is this week was called ‘kaioma/kaituhi’ – in pairs, one person is nominated as a runner (kaioma), and they race to a designated area of the room, read a line or lines of a conversation, then race back to the scribe/writer (kaituhi). The kaioma recites the conversation they have memorised and the kaituhi writes it down. This continues until the full conversation has been written. For the kaioma, they get to practice their memory and pronunciation skills, and for the kaituhi, they get to practice hearing the sounds of te reo Māori and writing down what they hear. It gives each pair immediate feedback on what they have learned so far, and where improvements or more practice might be needed.
This session we also played a game to learn about the pronouns: māua/mātou, tāua/tātou, kōrua/koutou, rāua/rātou.
This was an extension of the board game we used last week (au/koe/ia). I didn’t get a photo of this game, but hoping to craft a small video that will explain the concept. It does take some patience to understand and I think this will be covered again in our second lecture for the week.
Hearing and interpreting the sounds of te reo Māori is more challenging for me to understand or comprehend than if I was to read it (for example, the sounds of ‘ea’ and ‘ia’ can, at times, sound exactly the same to me). Today a colleague suggested I listen to kōrero on Māori TV or eTV. Shows like Te Karere, Kōrero Mai and Ako may help me with this aspect of my learning. If you’re learning te reo Māori, I’d love to hear what tools you’re using to help you in your language journey.