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Maori first for 'second' language teaching

Maori first for 'second' language teaching

If learning a second language is desirable for Kiwi school children then Maori, the first and only legislated official language of Aotearoa New Zealand, should be given priority said Green MP Metiria Turei.

Metiria said Prime Minister Helen Clark's call for increased multi-lingualism had merit but said all teachers should be required to be proficient in Te Reo before entering the teacher workforce.

"If we want our kids to learn other languages then it should be Maori first," said Metiria, the Green Education spokesperson.

"I support the push for multi-lingual teaching at schools but for the language curriculum to have integrity New Zealand children should be well-versed in their indigenous language before they attempt any others.

"The Green Party would increase the level of Te Reo proficiency for all trainee teachers so that all the children of Aotearoa New Zealand have a stake in the future of our culture, regardless of their background.

"We should learn our own language and culture before we learn others.

"I believe many of the emerging economies New Zealand does business with would appreciate dealing with a nation which embraces and promotes its indigenous culture.

"There is a complacency amongst New Zealanders who speak only English that the rest of the world will make the effort to speak their language. It's time we all woke up.

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