‘He Haerenga’ – Next in Pāpapa Series of Māori Language Apps
MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 25th October 2017 For immediate release
‘He Haerenga’ – Next in Pāpapa Series of Māori Language Apps for Children Released
Today saw the release of Māori language app He haerenga (A trip away) by Pāpapa, one of the country's newest mobile app production companies, established and run out of Palmerston North. He haerenga is the second in a series of te reo Māori (Māori language) apps for children under 5 and their caregivers, focusing on beginners-level language learning and specifically acquisition of vocabulary.
The first app released by Pāpapa in April of this year He aha tēnei? (What is this?) focused on 20 everyday Māori words and how they are pronounced. He haerenga continues this focus on everyday words and their pronunciation for use between children and their caregivers by providing vocabulary associated to four different holiday destinations popular with New Zealand families: The river, beach, mountain and farm. An added bonus scene - outer space - is then available on completion of these first four scenes.
"For parents like myself who are learning te reo Māori alongside their children, the challenge of supporting our children's language acquisition as they grow while developing our own language capabilities can be daunting" says Pāpapa co-founder and computer programmer James Porter (Te Atiawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa).
"To be as helpful as possible we decided the Pāpapa series should focus deliberately on everyday words and environments, with practical as well as fun and mystical elements to ensure maximum interest and engagement from children. So for example, in addition to eels and tents at the river, there are fairies".
Te Taura Whiri o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) have long emphasised "To live, a language needs to be spoken in the home" (2008, Te reo i te kainga, p. 3). This was supported by Te Paepae Motuhake, the Independent Panel appointed by Government in 2010 to conduct a review of the Māori language sector and Māori language revitalisation strategies. Yet the resource pool available for strengthening te reo Māori in homes is still small, with a distinct lack of digital resources.
"Digital technologies is the perfect avenue to explore innovative answers to resource development in many fields" urges Alan Nasario (Rarotonga, Rotuma), computer programmer and other co-founder of Pāpapa. "They are especially effective for language revitalisation initiatives, given the ability to use sound, imagery and movement".
"Hopefully what we are doing at Pāpapa will encourage others to explore developing digital resources for this purpose"
He haerenga is available for purchase on both Apple and Android devices, in both New Zealand and Australia.