Every Child should have the option to be in Bilingual Education
Do you think that children should have a choice in education? Well I do Kia Ora my name is Chevylee and I strongly believe that every child in New Zealand should have the option to bilingual education. Why on earth would a child be standing in front of you saying this? Well I am Maori and I want my language to survive but I need the help of my school to do this.
So what exactly is bilingual education?
In New Zealand, bilingual education is where you are in a classroom like everybody else, but you are taught in two different languages the teacher, students or both speak in the languages. You are taught your everyday School subjects in, English and Te Reo Māori, which are two of the official languages of New Zealand. One of which is like an endangered species, at risk of becoming extinct.
Research off Education Counts shows,
Between the 1930s and 1960s, the number of Māori who could speak Te Reo Māori went from 96.6% to only 26% and a generation grew up not knowing how to speak Te Reo Māori. There were also people who knew very little Te Reo Māori, for example 58% of Maori only knew a few words or phrases, so the use of Te Reo Māori was limited in some homes. This left people with the fear of Te Reo Māori becoming a dead language unless they put a big effort into reviving the language and encouraging people to speak it.
Most Pākehā did not understand that the Māori language was an essential expression and envelope of Māori culture, important for Māori in maintaining their pride and identity as a people.
I think it would be great to have bilingual classes in our school because we could learn about Mrs Lindsay's speeches in assembly and even make our own. We could have 2 different speech competitions. One where people would have Te Reo Māori speeches, and the other speech competition would be where people had speeches in English.
In conclusion I think that bilingual classes is one of the best things that have hit New Zealand Schools and every child should have the option to be in bilingual education because we would be helping the Maori language be more spoken and noticed which would be great for Maori children who don’t know much Te Reo Maori, and because I think it would be really fun to be able to learn Te Reo Māori at school.