App offers new way to learn Maori

By | May 1, 2014
App offers new way to learn Maori

Inventor says digital technology could be the saviour of a language under threat. The internet and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets could be the difference for the survival of Te Reo Maori, says a senior Maori academic.

Dr Rapata Wiri of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi in Whakatane has developed an app he says is the world’s first educational mobile software course for teaching Maori language and culture.

Te Pumanawa “The Maori Language and Culture App” at www.maori.ac.nz is the result of more than 15 years of Dr Wiri’s research and teaching on Maori language revitalisation and “m[obile] learning”.

Dr Wiri said the app came at a time when the language was at a crossroads. He said te reo could be extinct within two generations unless those learning it embraced digital technology.

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