Tēnā, ka toko ake i te pakirehua, mā wai te pūtea e whakahaere, ā, me pēhea e whakamahia ai te pūtea?
The question that presents itself asks, who will administer the funding and how will it be used?
For me, I would like to see more opportunities for Māori language teachers to train in specialised programmes grounded in principles of second language teaching and learning, particularly in the field of applied linguistics. I think a serious focus in this area, has the potential to empower current and upcoming Māori language teachers with specialised knowledge and application when addressing issues related to teaching and learning a second language, in particularly those who are Teaching or Learning Maori as a Second Language (TeMSL or LeMSL).
Some of the issues in approaching such an initiative would include: is there a need for such a programme and if yes then what would it look like, what is the number and availability of Maori language teachers already trained in this area to engage as educators and how could we attract more Māori to this discipline? If there are specialists already engaged in this type of training then how are they being supported in their efforts to provide teacher education and professional development in Maori language teaching and learning? Such funding can positively assist in addressing these and many more issues that will no doubt arise with inquiry.
I think that the grammatical and linguistic landscape and description of te reo Māori has come along way since the appearance of some of the first Maori grammar books in the early 19th Century and more so in recent years with the publications of more comprehensive descriptive grammars of te reo. Therefore, a great need exists for teachers to specialise in these areas if they are to continue using English language grammatical and linguistic descriptions as useful models for helping to explain and understand many aspects of te reo especially if their learners are English speaking, second language learners of Māori.
Furthermore, I believe that drawing on such models and conceptual frameworks are not meant to be detrimental to the essence, integrity, quality and unique identity of te reo Māori, but rather provide a greater understanding of its structural and contextual properties.