Liam Hodgson, a Year 9 student of Sargood House, is making remarkable strides in his journey to master the Te Reo language. A proud member of both the compulsory Year 9 Te Reo class and the Te Reo Master Class, Liam’s enthusiasm for the language has grown exponentially.
Starting with a basic understanding of Te Reo, Liam could initially recognize everyday words. However, with dedication and participation in these classes, his comprehension has flourished. Now, he confidently greets his classmates in Te Reo and can read texts, comprehending their content. He remarks, "The journey and learning are excellent. Now I can listen to korero and understand some of what is being said."
Hailing from the Gisborne and Mahia region and proudly identifying as Kahungungu, Liam’s quest for maatauranga Maaori (knowledge) is a family affair. His older brother Aidan, currently in Year 12, along with his father and grandparents, are all on their own Te Reo learning journeys. This shared commitment turns family time into opportunities for meaningful conversations and collective learning.
While Liam finds Te Reo learning enjoyable, he acknowledges that pronunciation can be a challenge. He notes, "The only challenge is knowing how to pronounce some words, especially if two words are spelled the same way but pronounced differently, with distinct meanings."
In the Te Reo Master Class, Liam’s learning experience goes beyond language acquisition. He also explores the holistic significance of the relationships between nature and people in te ao Maaori, the Maaori world.
Liam’s passion for Te Reo is so profound that he plans to continue his studies throughout his schooling years.
His advice to those who may feel hesitant about pronouncing Maaori words correctly is encouraging: "Give it a go and be confident. If you are not sure, then ask someone, don't be shy."
Liam Hodgson’s dedication to Te Reo serves as an inspiring example of the power of cultural learning and the significance of taking the Te Reo journey at any stage.