Whakamanahia te reo Maori: He tirohanga rangahau: A review of the literature with relevance for te reo Maori competence of graduates from Maori medium initial teacher education programmes
This review provides a synthesis of the research literature on issues around proficiency in bilingual education and the influences on te reo Māori (the Māori language) proficiency of teachers graduating from initial teacher education (ITE) programmes for Māori medium education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The current state of research identifies contradictions in terms and inconsistencies in its usage, and gaps in the literature – as one commentator put it almost zero with respect to indigenous ITE and absolutely no publications on proficiency levels of teachers graduating from ITE or on defining teacher language proficiencies. Be that as it may, this review provides further ideological clarification around the meanings and understandings ascribed to associated terms, for example bilingualism, immersion education, proficiency, competency, fluency, indigenous language curriculum, heritage languages, communicative approaches, subtractive and additive bilingual programmes. It also overviews how the nature of reo Māori proficiency that ITE providers can expect of their graduating kaiako is affected by a very wide range of factors which spring from the general socio-historical, political and linguistic conditions of the context/s concerned. Some of the wider (organisational and pedagogical) Māori language education aims are amenable to direct management by ITE providers. Even so, the wider socio-historical and political pressures will often impinge upon the extent to which ITE providers can give effect to its aims through its programmes. The literature strongly suggests that the new development of a full education system in a particular language in any country requires consistent and large resources focussed on it. In the case of Aotearoa/New Zealand, relevant and coherent policies need to be developed, based on sound research and development praxis. Significantly increased resources need to go into te reo Māori advancement in ITE in order to produce sufficient numbers of graduating kaiako with reo Māori proficiencies that are appropriate for teaching in both the compulsory and non-compulsory education sectors. Kia mate rā anō a Tama-nui-te-rā!