English in Aotearoa #080

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Above and Beyond

Should we be acknowledging the wider cultural heritage of our students and studying much more world literature, more English translations of foreign texts? Should our students be able to write (in English) about texts they have studied in their native language? And in particular what should be the nature of our special relationship with our colleagues teaching Te Reo Maori? The growth of Kura Kaupapa, the increasing awareness of issues around Te Tiriti, and the growing influence of Iwi organisations mean that we must accept the importance of supporting New Zealand’s first language and literature. Vaughan Rapatahana here looks at the definition of Maori writing and discusses some of the significant implications of Maori writing that is written in English – not only an important issue for us as teachers of Aotearoa-New Zealand literature, but surely an interesting area of study for many of our students. This then leads to considerations of the special heed we should be paying to Polynesian languages and literature and how we should treat this in our English teaching.

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Above and Beyond

Should we be acknowledging the wider cultural heritage of our students and studying much more world literature, more English translations of foreign texts? Should our students be able to write (in English) about texts they have studied in their native language? And in particular what should be the nature of our special relationship with our colleagues teaching Te Reo Maori? The growth of Kura Kaupapa, the increasing awareness of issues around Te Tiriti, and the growing influence of Iwi organisations mean that we must accept the importance of supporting New Zealand’s first language and literature. Vaughan Rapatahana here looks at the definition of Maori writing and discusses some of the significant implications of Maori writing that is written in English – not only an important issue for us as teachers of Aotearoa-New Zealand literature, but surely an interesting area of study for many of our students. This then leads to considerations of the special heed we should be paying to Polynesian languages and literature and how we should treat this in our English teaching.