Hello kete: Weaving languages and approaches

Presenter: Peter Ward


“We don’t know how lucky we are”.

Aotearoa New Zealand is polycultural on a bicultural foundation. Our tikanga is intercultural and collaborative. Ako is central. Learning and teaching are interwoven.

Our kaiako lead and gain from learning. A whakatauki asks “He aha te kai o te rangatira?” (What is the food of the leader?) “He korero, he korero, he korero.” (It is knowledge, it is communication.) Rangatira have mana because they weave the knowing, being and doing of many people.

Manaakitanga is intrinsic to Aotearoatanga. Our motu are young. Except for birds, we are all “fresh off the boat”. We are isolated yet interconnected. In language learning, in particular, we weave together intercultural tikanga.

In this session, we will korero about our inter-weaving of learning and languages, including English, te reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese, Russian, German, Afrikaans, Saudi, Korean, Pasifika languages and others.

“If you smile at me, I will understand because that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language”.

A minimalist, image-based, pechakucha-style Powerpoint will be used to activate schemata and maximise impact. These key words and images will stay on screen as evocative wallpaper. Attendees will be encouraged to contribute throughout the presentation with some prescribed pair-speaking communicative language-learning exercises. The diversity of languages, cultures and approaches discussed should lead to a wide range of questions and answers.