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In the last seven days, the New Zealand Ministry of Education Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga introduced new national curricula of Māori and NZ Sign Language for mainstream English-medium schools (better late than never).

New Zealand has a comparatively long history of indigenous education; curricula for subjects like Te Reo Māori (Māori language), Pāngarau (Maths) and Putaiao (Science) for Māori-medium schools have existed for a long time. For mainstream English-medium schools, curricula and ‘guidelines’ for foreign languages like Tokelauan, Niuean, Cook Island Māori, Samoan and Tongan have also existed for a long time. Curiously, a Māori curriculum for mainstream English-medium schools never existed, until the launch of the draft curriculum yesterday. Well, better late than never.

(Some of the aforementioned Pacific languages are actually not that ‘foreign’ to NZ, e.g. there are 2,000 Niueans in Niue, maybe 2,000 Niueans in Australia, and more than 20,000 Niueans in NZ.)

News items:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/4000976a7694.html
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0703/S00423.htm

The curriculum:
http://www.tki.org.nz/r/language/curriculum/maori/index_e.php


New Zealand Sign Language became an official language of New Zealand in April 2006, alongside Māori and English. To further elevate the status of NZSL, a national NZSL curriculum was launched last week.

News items:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/3993942a7694.html
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0703/S00198.htm

(I can't find the NZSL curriculum online.)

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
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