New app to learn te reo Maori

14 Sep, 2020
New app to learn te reo Maori

A free app that teaches how to use te reo Māori in real life situations is now available for download.

Kōrerorero, has been in development at the Auckland University of Technology for the past two years.

Although it is designed for beginners, the new phone app is also a great tool for those who would like to brush up on their language skills, says Hēmi Kelly, AUT Lecturer and co-creator of the app.

“From the first lesson there are words that you can use immediately,” Kelly says.

“It’s so user friendly that anyone can use it, even the kids – which means the whole whānau can learn together.”

Users of the free app work their way through Kōrerorero’s eight lessons, each based around a different activity one would find in a typical day. Each lesson contains up to 10 parts with a series of interactive exercises.

“It focuses on spoken reo rather than written language. It is cohesive and designed with repetition,” Kelly says.

Kōrerorero is a collaborative effort between Te Ara Poutama (AUT’s Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development) and the AUT Learning Transformation LAB (altLAB).

Te Ara Poutama lead the creation of the app’s content and provided the cultural support and knowledge while altLAB's Digital Media Team lead the app's design, development, and distribution.

App co-creator Professor Hinematau McNeill says staff and their whānau gave a lot of free time engaging in project development, providing voiceovers and photography, and reviewing lessons for user-friendliness.

“The technical expertise and support provided by altLAB also went above and beyond,” she says. “It’s a testament to their support for te reo.”

Kōrerorero has been extensively tested, going through two cycles of content, functionality and usability testing. The te reo Māori taught has also been carefully reviewed.

The general public, tertiary institutes and school can use it alongside their curriculum, Professor McNeill says.

“We hope that Kōrerorero will be useful in helping to revitalise the reo in Aotearoa,” she says.

“That it is being made available at no cost to the learner accentuates AUT’s commitment to Māori and te reo.”

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