Me Whita, Kia Whita! Hold Fast to Hasten the Blaze!The Development of an Accelerative Approach toAcquiring te Reo Māori.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This thesis is motivated by an awareness of the key role that Māori second language adult speakers play in the regeneration of the Māori language. The study provides an analytical description of the development of pedagogical materials for a new method of teaching te reo Māori to adults called ‘Kia Whita!’ (Hasten the Blaze!). ‘Kia Whita!’ is designed to rapidly enhance learners’ ability to communicate in te reo Māori while also developing cultural competence, knowledge and understanding. It is modelled on the Accelerative Integrated Method which was pioneered by Wendy Maxwell in Canada for the teaching of French and English to children. The study explains the theoretical foundations on which ‘Kia Whita!’ is built and articulates the special cultural and linguistic considerations that steered its development. This is an applied linguistic thesis drawing on second language acquisition theory and kaupapa Māori methodology. As a result these materials are cognisant of the intertwining issues and needs around second language acquisition, culture, place and the validation of the stated materials by key Māori stakeholders balanced against the varied needs of the second language learner of Te Reo Māori. Adopting this approach to the development of ‘Kia Whita!’ allows the materials to meet the high standards of effective second language pedagogy; and articulate Māori linguistic and cultural content acceptable to Māori experts while being comprehensible to learners of the language.