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John Birnie believes that adult learners of te reo Māori can become good speakers, valued for their own sake, with an important role in the ongoing revival of te reo Māori. His talk will explore ways to make adult learning of te reo Māori better – as an experience, as a way of helping adults flourish as language users, and as a way of equipping them for their role in the wider picture of reo Māori use.
Drawing from his research, John will talk about identity issues, anxiety and shyness, and the role of a language community for learners. He will give practical proposals to improve adult reo Māori learning.
John Birnie (Ngāti Pākehā) recently submitted his PhD thesis in Māori Studies at the University of Otago, a few weeks after his first payment of National Superannuation. He was a secondary school teacher of English and te reo Māori, and is a second-language reo Māori learner.
5.30pm, Thursday 14 September
Image credit: Detail of waka huia lid. Oldman Collection; Otago Museum Collection