• A new Māori language app created by Otago staff aims to develop Māori language skills, particularly in young people.  Photo credit: The University of OtagoA new Māori language app created by Otago staff aims to develop Māori language skills, particularly in young people. Photo credit: The University of Otago

University of Otago develops app to teach Māori

A research project team at the University of Otago has recently released an iPhone app that is designed to help children learn the Māori language.  The research project began in 2010 and looked at the way in which families in Dunedin passed on the language to their children.

One of the project’s developers, Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl explains: “One of the things that we noticed was that, when we gave them visual vocabulary learning posters, they used them enthusiastically for a while and then they stopped ‘seeing’ them. They became too familiar and merged into the background.

“We thought that we would use a different medium – an app – as many of the families said that their children enjoyed using games.”

The app, which is called Aki (to teach) was developed by students and staff across a number of different faculties at the University of Otago, and will be available for free through the Apple Store.  Work is now underway on an Android version.

Read more about this story here on the University of Otago’s website.  Find out more about the University of Otago here, and of course if you are interested in learning some Māori yourself, download the app!

Find out more about: