The more we understand about people the less fearful we become – Maori Week

I believe that the more we understand about people and their cultures the less fearful we become. After my last blog I got really interested in the Maori week so thought I would share some Maori words with you, as well as some information about the language itself.

Māori language is a traditionally oral language. Its written form has developed over the last two centuries. Its role has become more important with the growth of Māori-medium (Māori immersion) education and the regeneration of Māori language.

A standard written form of Māori language continues to be developed.

Tohutō – Macrons

One of the key features of written Māori is the macron. A macron is a small horizontal line placed above a vowel to indicate a long vowel sound e.g. Māori, tohutō (macron), rōpū (group). It is a pronunciation aid and is particularly useful for helping learners of the language become familiar with stress, intonation and emphasis.

The macron is also a spelling convention which in some cases has the effect of changing the meaning of a word e.g.

matua = father
mātua = parents
panga = puzzle
pānga = effect
maro = apron
mārō = hard
ana = cave
anā = there
pahu = bark
pahū = explode



Kia ora
Tēnā koe
Hello (to one person)
Tēnā kōrua
Hello (to two people)
Tēnā koutou
Hello (to three or more people)

Inquiring Question

Kei te pēhea koe?
How are you?


Kei te pai ahau
I’m good
Ka nui te ora
I’m great
Me koe?
And you?


Haere rā
Goodbye (to someone leaving)
E noho rā
Goodbye (to someone staying)
Ka kite anō
See you again
Hei konā
See you later
and finally….
The term tangi or tangihanga describes a Māori approach to the process of grieving for someone who has died. Practices and protocols can differ from tribe to tribe. However, it is a common process that enables people to express their sense of loss, not only for their loved one, but for those who have passed before them.Traditionally, tangihanga were held at marae. Nowadays, tangihanga are also held at private residences and funeral parlours. Tangihanga usually take place over a number of days, beginning when the person passes away and continuing after the burial, until the rituals and ceremonies of grieving are complete.

Before the burial, it is common for the coffin to be left open so mourners can touch, kiss, hug and cry over the tūpāpaku (corpse) to express their grief.

A common belief is that the tūpāpaku should never be left alone after death, so close family members (the whānau pani) stay with the tūpāpaku throughout the tangihanga, supported by older female relatives.

People often travel long distances to attend tangihanga to show their respect for the person who has died and to offer support to the family. It is also common practice to offer a koha, usually money, to the marae or family.

If the tangihanga is at a marae, those who attend are welcomed with pōwhiri  during which speeches are made as if talking directly to the tūpāpaku. This fits with the common belief that the spirit remains with the body until the time of the burial.

If the tūpāpaku has links to a number of tribes or sub tribes, debate may arise between relatives over where the tūpāpaku is to be buried. While talks can be heated and stressful, such debate is a sign of love and respect for the tūpāpaku.

for more information this was my source of inspiration

The more we understand about people the less fearful we become….Liz Foxwell

Welsh v English Which path do I choose for Secondary School ? – Wales

This is an interesting story about the path of twins and their choice at secondary school after engaging in a Welsh Primary Education, which path to choose?

Has anyone else out there been in this position?  I have been promoting Welsh via the Primary Language Awards and the Welsh category as having been born in South Wales I wanted to promote the language, this years winners can be seen at

AN EDUCATION guidance document has prompted some controversy after revealing  concerns over the progression of Welsh language skills for Welsh medium pupils.

The document – called Promoting linguistic progression between Key Stages 2  and 3 – has been distributed by the Welsh Government to local education  authorities and the head teachers and governing bodies of Welsh medium primary  and secondary schools.

It reveals there has been concern within the Welsh Government at the failure  of some children undergoing Welsh medium education to progress their language  skills after making the transition from primary to secondary schools.

It states: “Despite a growing number of learners being taught through the  medium of Welsh in our primary schools, the lack of linguistic progression  across the educational stages from Key Stage 2 onwards has been of concern to  educators in Wales for a number of years and there has been considerable  discussion on how best to try to respond to the situation.”

The document goes on to offer advice about how to overcome the doubts of  parents who worry whether Welsh medium education will place their child at a  disadvantage. It advocates running “workshops for Years 5 and 6 learners {aged 9  to 11} to raise their awareness of the value of Welsh medium education”.

The document states: “This is best undertaken by means of fun activities that  underline the economic, cultural and social benefits of being bilingual in  contemporary Wales.

“During the project, a number of fun activities were created for use with  Years 5 and 6 learners to raise their awareness of the benefits of bilingual  skills, including the social, educational and economic benefits.

“One example is to have two dolls that are similar in appearance, and present  a story about the dolls to the learners. They are twins who have been brought up  as Welsh speakers. Both had a Welsh medium education at primary school. One went  on to receive a Welsh medium education at secondary school, but the other  followed her friends and chose an English medium education. One went to college  in Wales while the other went to college in England. One of them retained her  Welsh while the other lost the language after spending years working in  London.

“By coincidence, years later both applied for the same job – a senior job  with a good salary in an area of Wales with a high number of Welsh speakers. The  learners are told that one twin has bilingual skills, and is therefore able to  speak to everyone, in either English or Welsh. The other twin can only speak  English. There is a discussion on the importance of giving customers a choice of  language and on the rights of Welsh speakers. Learners are asked to choose which  candidate should be given the job. In all cases, without exception, the learners  chose the twin with bilingual skills. The result of the exercise is that the  learners themselves realise the benefits of having bilingual skills.”

A source in the education sector said the document had caused some  controversy since it was issued earlier this year because some educationalists  believed it clearly proposed “strategies to discourage English-medium education  between Key Stages 2 & 3”.

The source said: “I think the document speaks for itself. The strategies for  discouraging English medium secondary education – particularly those aimed at  children like the dolls example – are, I think, highly questionable.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We want to address the decrease in  numbers of pupils who continue to study Welsh first language and subjects  through the medium of Welsh on transfer from KS2 to KS3. That is the focus of  this document.

“It highlights the advantages of learners progressing from primary through to  secondary education in the language which they’ve been using throughout their  education. It also provides guidance for local authorities and schools on how to  support and encourage progression. Linguistic progression is a key part of our  Welsh medium education strategy.”

The document also recommends a DVD to be shown to parents called Symud  Ymlaen/ Moving On. The DVD states: “Employers now seek robust bilingual skills – having a Welsh medium education is an effective way of improving skills and  confidence in the language. More jobs require bilingual skills today than ever  before.

“Being bilingual gives young people the opportunity to experience two  different cultures and two worlds of experience. Two languages – twice the  choice!”

A National Assembly briefing paper about the current Assembly term, which we  have seen, suggests a Welsh medium education Bill may be necessary to compel  local authorities to implement the Welsh Government’s Welsh medium education  strategy, which has targets that 30% of Year 2 learners and 23% of Year 9  learners should be assessed in Welsh first language by 2020.

Read More

ICT Resource for Migrants – Worldwide

Has anyone seen this resource?

EMASUK – have a range of resources to support English as an additional language from a resource vault which teachers can download from 24/7, to talking technologies including Talking Tutor, Text Tutor and the award winning Two Can Talk. Their most recent offering is a hand held unit which can be carried around easily and speaks out in a choice of 25 langauges.  See a video here to show their award winning bilingual book called Pip.

They also do bilingual books that support the first days in a new school, Maths and exam preparation. I found it at

Welsh Language plans

Currently talks are underway re. the use of Welsh in Wales. They wish to be fully bilingual

Welsh speakers would be able to access fully bilingual public services if new plans outlined for the language are given the go-ahead.

A Welsh Language Measure, which came into force last year, set a duty on public organisations to treat the Welsh language no less favourably than English

See more at:

Companies would be wise to seek out EMASUK and their text translator for  their flyers, letters and booklets. just cut and paste to make a bilingual document. Email for more information and cost effective prices.