This learning area presents English language as a tool for communicating and expressing thought, social interaction, and academic learning. 

This learning area supports the learning of Māori language as the primary language of instruction in Māori medium schools by strengthening and building on the linguistic competencies outlined in the Māori language learning area. In that way, this learning area supports an additive approach to language teaching and learning. 

The Purpose of Learning Te Reo Pākehā

Our parents and tīpuna have long understood the benefits of learning English language as a means of accessing and contributing to the wider world. The well known poem by Sir Apirana Ngata illustrates that understanding by encouraging children and young people to retain their heritage (including te reo Māori), while also seeking to master the tools of the Pākehā world (including the English language).

These words are echoed by parents today and this learning area supports the aspiration for children in Māori medium settings to be bilingual in Māori and English. 

The purpose of this learning area is to guide learners to develop proficiency in English language in order that they:

can participate and contribute to the global world;

are bilingual and bi-literate;

achieve linguistic competence in English;

achieve NCEA qualifications in English (if they wish);

can pursue and achieve their aspirations in English. 

The Structure of this Learning Area

English is not a foreign language for children in Māori medium schools. For some, English will be their first language. The vast majority of learners in Māori medium settings are proficient speakers of English. This learning area acknowledges that learners have prior language knowledge and seeks to build on that base in order to develop bilingual learners. 

This learning area identifies two major aspects of language – using language in everyday settings and using language for academic purposes.  Both aspects incorporate listening, reading & viewing and spelling, writing & presenting. Learners will experience the functional, colloquial and idiomatic features of English language within the context of everyday settings.  Functional language refers to the purposes for which we use language such as greeting, buying things, making appointments and asking for help. Multiple language functions are evident in everyday language use.

In order to achieve academically, learners need to be proficient in academic language.  Through learning these aspects of English language learners will be equipped to reach their full potential at secondary school and tertiary level.

The language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing can be strengthened through the exploration of these two major aspects of te reo Pākehā.