2020 Language and Culture Course Grant recipient

Report from 2020 Language and Culture Course Grant recipient, Tania Flintoff

Tania Flintoff, one of the recipients of the 2020 Language and Culture Course Grant writes about her background in teaching and how this grant is helping her to achieve her goals.

Kia ora, ko Tania Flintoff tōku ingoa.  I teach at Rototuna Junior High School, Hamilton.  I have been passionate about different cultures and languages from a young age.  
I studied Japanese at high school and after graduating university I had the opportunity of a short stint teaching English in Thailand.  I then spent the following year in South Korea teaching English as a Second Language.  

I trained as a teacher in 2017 and noticed a lack of Māori language teachers which saddened me.  This lack motivated me and gave me the courage to reignite a dormant dream of studying te reo Māori.  Over the years, I had studied basic Māori language part-time.  While this provided a basis, I felt I needed a more intensive program to accelerate my language learning.  

This year I am studying a Diploma in Te Tohu Paetahi through the University of Waikato; an intensive total immersion Māori language course that has paved the way for revitalisation of te reo Māori and inspiring people to connect with marae.  I am continually surrounded by Maori language and this has been the best way for me to learn.  While being continually challenged and requiring total commitment from me,   I feel blessed to study Māori language.

I received a Language and Culture Course Grant and have purchased resource books that have been vital to my language learning journey.  These will be beneficial resources for me as a teacher of  Māori language.   I have more confidence to speak Te Reo Māori naturally throughout the day and am advocating to normalise Māori language.  

Next year, I start a new role as a Māori language teacher.  To anyone thinking about developing their language skills I would say “karawhiua”, give it a go.    

Photo: Tania Flintoff