A new survey has found that most teachers across the country are new using te reo Māori in some form or level in the classroom. New Zealand’s Council for Educational Research survey found that just 1% had never used the language with their students – the survey also found that of the 771 teachers who responded, 10% used Māori most of the time in their classrooms and 44 percent spoke it quite often.
"Increasing the number of teachers who speak te reo Māori, and the level at which they can speak it and use it with their students, should also be a priority," the survey report said.
"Most use of te reo Māori with students in English-medium classrooms was at a basic level, for greetings such as 'kia ora', and farewells, such as 'ka kite', or for giving short instructions or directions," the report said.
"Thirty-nine percent of teachers overall used te reo Māori either in creative contexts such as story-telling or poetry, or in conversations with students, or to teach curriculum content."
Only 3 percent of teachers said learning te reo never or almost never happened in their classrooms and only 1 percent of teachers said they did not use te reo Māori with students at all.
The research said 86 percent believed it was important that students learned te reo Maori, 88 percent of teachers promoted Māori cultural values in their classrooms.
Among school principals, 92 percent of the 200 who responded said their school incorporated tikanga and te reo Māori into their school-wide practices, while 97 percent said their school valued te reo Māori.