Can Maori children really be positioned as "deficient" learners for reading English?

Fleur Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Since British colonial settlement in the early 1800s, Māori children have been predominantly educated in an English- speaking system dominated by colonial governance. In this institution, Māori children have been constructed as deficient learners, primarily in relation to a colonial curriculum taught in English and an assessment regime developed with monolingual and mono-cultural English children. This article, which critically challenges the deficit discourse, outlines the ways in which Māori and English languages co-exist in a fluid stream across the curriculum in a Christchurch classroom in order to scaffold educational achievement in learning to read English, for Māori children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-145
Number of pages23
JournalEnglish Teaching
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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