Thursday, September 13, 2007

Preserving Maori Language

Aired on KQED's Pacific Time, September 13, 2007

You might not think that getting 3-year-olds to sing songs and learn an alphabet is revolutionary, but New Zealand’s Maori leaders have stopped a culture crash through the creation of hundreds of Maori language preschools. Kohanga reos, (language nests) were initially underground pre-schools taught entirely in Maori and by communities’ grandmothers. Now, kohanga reos have introduced a generation of Maori to a language and culture almost lost to them.