Encouraging te reo Māori in your centre

At Paraparaumu Playcentre we have a number of simple ways to encourage the use of te reo Māori on session. A lot of our methods are adaptations and developments of ideas we liked when visiting other centres. One easy and effective resource is a large “Kei te pēhea koe?’’ wall poster created with bright photographs of the children modelling various emotions: one child is eating for hiakai, another pretends to be angry and frowns for pukuriri. The poster is displayed in a highly visible position in the centre with easy access for the children. The tamariki enjoy looking at their own picture and point out the word for the displayed emotion. The poster is also a good launch pad for conversations when we gather at the kai table and discuss how we are feeling today.

 

Another very simple, yet effective tool to use, is the word-of-the-week and the phraseof-the-month. The words are circulated in the weekly notices with examples of their appropriate use, as well as being displayed on a board made for this purpose. The word and phrase relate to the centre’s goal for the term. This term’s goal is Mana Atua – Wellbeing. 

Our Bicultural Team teaches us useful phrases such as me hikoi koe kei roto–please walk inside and taihoa–wait, hold on.

The bicultural officers from Paraparaumu and Paekakariki Playcentres are liaising and sharing ideas and approaches to plan our bicultural journeys together. We intend to hold some bicultural events later in the year, such as a pōwhiri at each other’s centres. We will visit Paekakariki Playcentre first where they will welcome us as manuhiri onto their centre, and a few weeks later we will welcome them onto ours. This will be an exciting challenge for us at Paraparaumu with preparations involving memorising a waiata and learning all the cultural protocols.

We are also planning a trip to Te Papa to enjoy the Matariki story time and Māori exhibit.
– Rebecca Hewson, Paraparaumu Playcentre