Vagahau Niue for Teaching and Learning in New Zealand Schools
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This study employs autoethnography as the research method for exploring some of my experiences as a tagata 1 Niue working to support the development of Vagahau Niue 2 for learning and teaching in New Zealand schools. Four initiatives that I was involved in are described and analysed for the purpose of connecting my ethnographical story to wider cultural, political, and social implications and understandings of the struggles a minority language group undertake to survive in Aotearoa New Zealand today. In the process of undertaking the autoethnography I found that my understanding of things Niue and my perceptions of self and agency changed over time. Analysing the interactions, I had with others as part of the initiatives I was involved with showed me that cultural influences, cultural perspectives and misunderstandings can seriously impact how we see ourselves. My own story reinforces how important it is for learners to have access to their own languages and cultural heritage in education settings because of the complex relationship between language, culture and educational achievement.