Drawn from a talk presented at the 2019 Viva Lingua Viva indigenous languages event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this article presents the findings of a qualitative case study focused on a 10-week Māori language programme, Te Hā o te Reo (“the essence of the language”) offered to staff at a New Zealand university. The article reports on the pedagogical practices employed in the course through a discussion of qualitative interview data collected for a wider study on the experiences of non-Māori students of Te Reo Māori as a second language. The analysis presents insights from a sample of adult student participants and by the courses’ chief designer and teacher. A focussed consideration of four key classroom practices suggests a teaching approach based on three Māori culture-specific pedagogical principles (Whanaungatanga—relationship-based learning; Koakoa—joy, humour; Kaupapa Māori—Māori principles and worldview), which are found to shape both course content and classroom management in ways that are well aligned with student’s needs and expectations.
cadernos de liguistica, 2020, 1 (3), pp. 1 - 15 (15)