Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139



This study explores teacher perspectives on a government policy that seeks to integrate Indigenous knowledge into mainstream foreign language education in New Zealand schools. Based on in-depth interviews, the study found that language teachers generally support this educational change because trans/languaging involving English and te reo Māori (the Māori language) has become an ordinary practice in their teaching and school lives. However, foreign language teachers expressed a need for discipline-specific materials and professional development to help them integrate mātauranga Māori (Indigenous knowledge of Māori) into their teaching. Their concerns can be understood as a lack of support in interpreting “what,” “how,” and “to what extent” the policy will be implemented. The study suggests using a decolonising approach to help teachers affirm the relevance of Indigenous knowledge in their discipline. It recommends that policymakers adopt a pluriversal stance to ensure that diverse knowledge systems can coexist and interact harmoniously rather than compete with one another in the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) curriculum.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Alansari, M., Wylie, C., Hipkins, R., Overbye, S., Tuifagalele, R., & Watson, S.
    (2022) Secondary teachers’ perspectives from NZCER’s 2021 National Survey of Secondary Schools. NZCER. 10.18296/rep.0022
    https://doi.org/10.18296/rep.0022 [Google Scholar]
  2. Andreotti, V., Ahenakew, C., & Cooper, G.
    (2011) Epistemological pluralism: Ethical and pedagogical challenges in higher educationAlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 7(1), 40–50. 10.1177/117718011100700104
    https://doi.org/10.1177/117718011100700104 [Google Scholar]
  3. Barnes, M.
    (2021) Policy actors or objects of policy? Teacher candidates’ interpretations of ‘teacher quality’ policy initiatives in Australia. Teaching and Teacher Education, 1061. Advance online publication. 10.1016/j.tate.2021.103440
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103440 [Google Scholar]
  4. Calude, A., Stevenson, L., Whaanga, H., & Keegan, T. K.
    (2020) The use of Māori words in National Science Challenge online discourse. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 50(4), 491–508. 10.1080/03036758.2019.1662818
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2019.1662818 [Google Scholar]
  5. Canagarajah, S.
    (2022) Challenges in decolonizing linguistics: The politics of enregisterment and the divergent uptakes of translingualism. Educational Linguistics. Advance online publication. 10.1515/eduling‑2021‑0005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/eduling-2021-0005 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D.
    (2021) Pedagogical translanguaging. Cambridge Elements. 10.1017/9781009029384
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009029384 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chaka, C.
    (2020) Translanguaging, decoloniality, and the Global South: An integrative review study. Scrutiny2, 25(1), 6–42. 10.1080/18125441.2020.1802617
    https://doi.org/10.1080/18125441.2020.1802617 [Google Scholar]
  8. Chantiluke, R., Kwoba, B., & Nkopo, A.
    (Eds.) (2018) Rhodes must fall: The struggle to decolonise the racist heart of empire. Zed. 10.5040/9781350222380
    https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350222380 [Google Scholar]
  9. Criser, R., & Malakaj, E.
    (Eds.) (2020) Diversity and decolonization in German studies. Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑34342‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34342-2 [Google Scholar]
  10. DeCarlo, M.
    (2018) Scientific inquiry in social work. Open Social Work Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Douglas, E. & R. Barrett-Douglas
    (1983) Nga Kōhanga Reo: A salvage programme for the Māori Language. Paper presented at theSymposium on the Survival of Indigenous Languages, Multilingualism and the Emergence of Pidgins and Creoles, 53rd ANZAAS Congress. Perth, W.A., Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Ellison, S., Anderson, A. B., Aronson, B., & Clausen, C.
    (2018) From objects to subjects: Repositioning teachers as policy actors doing policy work. Teaching and Teacher Education, 741, 157–169. 10.1016/j.tate.2018.05.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.05.001 [Google Scholar]
  13. Fang, F., & Dovchin, S.
    (2022) Reflection and reform of applied linguistics from the Global South: power and inequality in English users from the Global South. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication. 10.1515/applirev‑2022‑0072
    https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2022-0072 [Google Scholar]
  14. Fullan, M. G.
    (2001) The new meaning of educational change (3rd ed.). Teachers College Press. 10.4324/9780203986561
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203986561 [Google Scholar]
  15. Heineke, A. J., Ryan, A. M., & Tocci, C.
    (2015) Teaching, learning, and leading: Preparing teachers as educational policy actors. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(4), 382–394. 10.1177/0022487115592031
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487115592031 [Google Scholar]
  16. Hēnare, M.
    (2015) Tapu, mana, mauri, hau, wairua: A Māori philosophy of vitalism and cosmos. InC. Spiller & R. Wolfgramm (Eds.), Indigenous spiritualities at work: Transforming the spirit of enterprise (pp.77–98). IAP.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hill, R.
    (2009) Māori and the State: Crown–Māori relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950–2000. Victoria University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Keele University Students’ Union
    Keele University Students’ Union (2018) Keele Manifesto for Decolonizing the Curriculum. Journal of Global Faultlines, 5(12), 97–99.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Kiger, M., & Varpio, L.
    (2020) Thematic analysis of qualitative data. Medical Teacher, 42(8), 846–854. 10.1080/0142159X.2020.1755030
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2020.1755030 [Google Scholar]
  20. King, J.
    (2018) Māori: Revitalization of an endangered language. InL. Kenneth, K. L. Rehg, & L. Campbell (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of endangered languages (pp.592–612). Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kramsch, C.
    (2019) Between globalization and decolonization: Foreign languages in the crossfire. InD. Macedo (Ed.), Decolonizing foreign language education: The misteaching English and other colonial languages (pp.50–72). Routledge. 10.4324/9780429453113‑2
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429453113-2 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kubota, R.
    (2020) Confronting epistemological racism, decolonizing scholarly knowledge: Race and gender in Applied Linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 41(5), 712–732. 10.1093/applin/amz033
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amz033 [Google Scholar]
  23. Li, W.
    (2018) Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 9–30. 10.1093/applin/amx039
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx039 [Google Scholar]
  24. Li, W., & García, O.
    (2022) Not a first language but one repertoire: Translanguaging as a decolonizing project. RELC Journal. Advance online publication. 10.1177/00336882221092841
    https://doi.org/10.1177/00336882221092841 [Google Scholar]
  25. Li, W., & Lin, A. M. Y.
    (2019) Translanguaging classroom discourse: Pushing limits, breaking boundaries. Classroom Discourse, 10(3’4), 209–215. 10.1080/19463014.2019.1635032
    https://doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2019.1635032 [Google Scholar]
  26. Lin, A. M. Y.
    (2015) Researcher positionality. InM. Francis & D. C. Johnson (Eds.), Research methods in language policy and planning: A practical guide (pp.21–32). John Wiley & Sons. 10.1002/9781118340349.ch3
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118340349.ch3 [Google Scholar]
  27. Macedo, D.
    (Ed.) (2019) Decolonizing foreign language education: The misteaching of English and other colonial languages. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Major, J.
    (2018) Bilingual identities in monolingual classrooms: Challenging the hegemony of English. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 53(2), 193–208. 10.1007/s40841‑018‑0110‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-018-0110-y [Google Scholar]
  29. May, S.
    (2013) Language and minority rights: Ethnicity, nationalism and the politics of language. Routledge. 10.4324/9780203832547
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203832547 [Google Scholar]
  30. Mignolo, D. W. & Walsh, E. C.
    (2018) On decoloniality: Concepts, analytics, praxis. Duke University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Ministry of Education
    Ministry of Education (2019) Mana ōrite mō te mātauranga Māori. https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/ncea-review/change-package/matauranga-maori/
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Ministry of Education
    Ministry of Education (2020) What is the NCEA change programme. https://ncea.education.govt.nz/what-ncea-change-programme
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Ministry of Education
    Ministry of Education (2022) New Zealand Curriculum. https://ncea.education.govt.nz/
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Ministry of Education [Google Scholar]
  35. Phipps, A.
    (2019) Decolonising multilingualism: Struggles to decreate. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Scanlan, C. L.
    (2020) Preparing for the unanticipated: Challenges in conducting semi-structured in-depth interviews. SAGE. 10.4135/9781529719208
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781529719208 [Google Scholar]
  37. Seals, C., & Olsen-Reeder, V.
    (2020) Translanguaging in conjunction with language revitalization. System, 921. Advance online publication. 10.1016/j.system.2020.102277
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102277 [Google Scholar]
  38. Smith, L. T.
    (2021) Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples. Bloomsbury Publishing. 10.5040/9781350225282
    https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350225282 [Google Scholar]
  39. Statistics of New Zealand
    Statistics of New Zealand (2019) New Zealand’s population reflects growing diversity. https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/new-zealands-population-reflects-growing-diversity
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Statistics of New Zealand
    Statistics of New Zealand (2022) Māori population share projected to grow in all regions. https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/maori-population-share-projected-to-grow-in-all-regions/
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Stewart, G. T.
    (2022) Māori philosophy: Indigenous thinking from Aotearoa. Bloomsbury Academic.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Swan, C.
    (2018) Challenging epistemic racism: Incorporating Māori knowledge into the Aotearoa New Zealand education system. Journal of Initial Teacher Inquiry, 41, 8–11. 10.26021/10867
    https://doi.org/10.26021/10867 [Google Scholar]
  43. Tankosić, A., Dovchin, S., Oliver, R., & Exell, M.
    (2022) The mundanity of translanguaging and Aboriginal identity in Australia. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication. 10.1515/applirev‑2022‑0064
    https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2022-0064 [Google Scholar]
  44. Toohey, K.
    (2019) The onto-epistemologies of new materialism: Implications for applied linguistics pedagogies and research. Applied Linguistics, 40(6), 937–956. 10.1093/applin/amy046
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amy046 [Google Scholar]
  45. Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W.
    (2012) Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), 1–40. 10.25058/20112742.n38.04
    https://doi.org/10.25058/20112742.n38.04 [Google Scholar]
  46. Turner, M., & Lin, A. M. Y.
    (2017) Translanguaging and named languages: Productive tension and desire. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 23(4), 423–433. 10.1080/13670050.2017.1360243
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2017.1360243 [Google Scholar]
  47. Ushioda, E.
    (2017) The impact of global English on motivation to learn other languages: Toward an Ideal Multilingual Self. The Modern Language Journal, 101(3), 469–482. 10.1111/modl.12413
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12413 [Google Scholar]
  48. Valdiviezo, L.
    (2009) Bilingual intercultural education in Indigenous schools: An ethnography of teacher interpretations of government policy. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 12(1), 61–79. 10.1080/13670050802149515
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050802149515 [Google Scholar]
  49. Vandeyar, S.
    (2019) Why decolonising the South African university curriculum will fail. Teaching in Higher Education, 25(7), 783–796. 10.1080/13562517.2019.1592149
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2019.1592149 [Google Scholar]
  50. Vunibola, S., & Scobie, M.
    (2022) Islands of Indigenous innovation: Reclaiming and reconceptualising innovation within, against and beyond colonial-capitalism. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Advance online publication. 10.1080/03036758.2022.2056618
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2022.2056618 [Google Scholar]
  51. Walker, R.
    (1990) Ka whawhai tonu matou, Struggle without end. Penguin Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Wang, D.
    (2019) Multilingualism and translanguaging in Chinese language classrooms. Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑02529‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02529-8 [Google Scholar]
  53. (2020) Studying Chinese language in higher education: The translanguaging reality through learners’ eyes. System, 951. Advance online publication. 10.1016/j.system.2020.102394
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102394 [Google Scholar]
  54. (2021a) A decolonial perspective on language life in New Zealand. Chinese Journal of Language Policy and Planning, 6(5), 38–48. CitetononCRdoi:10.19689/j.cnki.cn10‑1361/h.20210503
    https://doi.org/Cite to nonCR doi: 10.19689/j.cnki.cn10-1361/h.20210503 [Google Scholar]
  55. (2021b) Seventy years of Chinese language education in New Zealand: A transdisciplinary overview. InY. Zhang & X. Gao (Eds.), Frontiers in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a second language (pp.170–184). Routledge. 10.4324/9781003169895‑11
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003169895-11 [Google Scholar]
  56. (2022) Translanguaging as a decolonising approach: Students’ perspectives towards integrating Indigenous epistemology into language teaching. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication. 10.1515/applirev‑2022‑0127
    https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2022-0127 [Google Scholar]
  57. Wang, D., & Chik, A.
    (2022) Chinese language education in Australia and New Zealand. InW. O. Lee, P. Brown, A. L. Goodwin, & A. Green (Eds.), International handbook on education development in Asia-Pacific. Springer. Advance online publication. 10.1007/978‑981‑16‑2327‑1_33‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-2327-1_33-2 [Google Scholar]
  58. Wigglesworth, G., Simpson, J., & Loakes, D.
    (2011) NAPLAN language assessments for Indigenous children in remote communities: Issues and problems. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 34(3), 320–343. 10.1075/aral.34.3.04wig
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aral.34.3.04wig [Google Scholar]
  59. Williams, D. V.
    (2019) The continuing impact of amalgamation, assimilation and integration policies. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 49(1), 34–47. 10.1080/03036758.2019.1677252
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2019.1677252 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error