Monday, 7 May 2012

Some morning sunshine

This morninng I read Kerre Woodham's opinion piece on Groser's suggestion that Te Reo Maori should be compulsory in all schools. It was published on the New Zealand Herald website and I wanted to share a comment that was left by "Argonaut" because, for me, it summed up things quite nicely.

Argonaut (New Zealand)
02:51 PM Sunday, 6 May 2012
'It amazes me how many people come out of the woodwork that are so anti learning maori.

"They are all talk. Very few of them actually admit to living in a bilingual house.

"As for immigrants where English is their second language, they need to learn that their own language is just as important. Parents who insist their kids ONLY speak English, are cheating their kids of something precious, not only their own culutre, but the ability to learn more languages, easily, at a later date in their life.

"There is no point saying "why learn Maori, we should learn [some other language]" Well guess what. We don't have a nation filled with [some other language] speakers.

"If aunty speaks spanish, then by all means, learn spanish. Or if you are at a school that has the new Mandarin assistance (non teachers, supplied by some chinese society) then learn mandarin.


  1. I want to pick at another comment on the Herald site:

    "Groser however is talking about a second language but, given English is the international language of commerce, I think it is also important that we teach English in schools before what is spoken here becomes absolute giberish to the rest of the world"

    This is obviously written by someone who's never learnt a second language to any degree of depth. Learning a second language improves your knowledge of the first because you constantly have to compare and contrast at a structural level.

  2. Thanks Robbie. There are a lot of opinion on this subject out there and as you have rightfully pointed out many do not seem to have much evidence to back them up. While it is disappointing it probably shouldn't be surprising - afterall according to Shakespeare ignorance and folly are a common curse of mankind.