Towards a Languages Policy for New Zealand Education

  • Richard Benton


Although a national languages policy had not yet been formulated, developments during 1994 indicated that at least some of the key recommendations of the 1992 discussion document Aoteareo: Speaking for Ourselves had been incorporated in official policy. Draft curriculum statements were launched for Spanish, English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Maori (including mathematics and science taught through Maori). Both the Minister of Education and the Prime Minister stressed the economic importance of developing competence in key foreign languages among New Zealanders. Some attention was paid to community languages but major emphasis was given to commercially significant foreign languages, English and Maori. Although the position of Maori as an official language seemed to be universally recognised and assured, serious deficiencies in the effectiveness of measures being taken to revitalise the language were highlighted. Among these, inadequacies in teacher-training and resource development attracted comment from Maori groups and from several official agencies.


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Author Biography

Richard Benton
How to Cite
BENTON, Richard. Towards a Languages Policy for New Zealand Education. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 4, dec. 1994. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2020. doi:


Languages, Language Education and Literacy