Teacher experiences and perceptions related to developing a culturally and linguistically responsive emergent bilingual literacy program in Aotearoa New Zealand: A collaborative case study

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Cambridge University Press
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In this article we discuss teachers’ perceptions and experiences of a collaborative case study to adapt a literacy approach originally designed for an Aotearoa New Zealand English-medium context. The approach was adapted to meet the needs of learners in a school offering differing levels of bilingual education. Our collaboration included a facilitating researcher, supported by two researchers at a University (of Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe, and Waitaha descent) and two classroom teachers of Māori descent from a small rural Māori community in Aotearoa New Zealand. We report findings from qualitative data collected from the two classroom teachers as part of the research process, analysed using a wānanga approach. Findings suggested that developing a linguistically and culturally responsive literacy approach to foster emergent bilingual language development required Kaupapa Māori approaches. These included ako (acknowledging the experiences and knowledge of the teacher and learner within shared learning experiences), the development of trust and quality relationships between the teachers and the facilitating researcher, and the ability of teachers to be agentic when implementing the approach. Teachers viewed responsiveness to culture and language as integral to developing an emergent bilingual literacy approach for children, which underpinned connections between teachers, children, and families.
Bilingual education, Indigenous Languages, Bilingual children, teacher pedagogies, Teacher perceptions
The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 2022, 51 (2)