Good Maori language teaching starts with the qualities of a good Maori language teacher. For me, I have learnt that this starts with two vital qualities, that is 1) the teacher should be a competent (i.e. knowledgeable) teacher and 2) a meticulous planner. The teacher, for example should have a sound knowledge of grammar and structure and be able to design lessons that will implement that knowledge in ways that will help students to develop their language skills no matter what level they may be at. A good start would be that the Maori language teacher has a linguistic toolbox where they know every tool and how to use it correctly and effectively and are constantly adding to it, or in other words – improving and increasing their linguistic knowledge, for example, by taking a course or going to language seminars etc. Some tools in your linguistic toolbox may include: knowledge of grammar and structure, language and discourse analysis, linguistic registry (i.e. terminology such as, text, receptive and productive skills, communicative competence…) and knowledge of lesson planning and implementation etc.
There is so much to learn and know, and for what purpose? To help students learning Maori as a second language advance and progress in their receptive and productive language skills to become competent and confident speakers of te reo. Implementing this knowledge is not only for second language learners of Maori, but can also be useful for fluent, native speakers whose first language is Maori who may want to learn about how the language works.