Robert H Barbour and Te Taka Keegan Email: r.barbour@waikato.ac.nz

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Abstract

The survival LCTLs may depend on extending them to accommodate Information Technologies. Techniques for doing so through teaching courses in technology using a LCTL are described. The process of developing an appropriate pedagogy is discussed with reference to introductory computer science courses in the Mäori language. The global context of indigenous languages in relation to Information Technology is briefly considered. Suggestions are made for further work.

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Introduction

The Mäori language has been marginalised in the New Zealand education system. Young people were not taught Mäori so that number of Mäori speakers declined to the point at which the language was under threat.

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A Cultural Renaissance

Bilingual Units (where Mäori is used for instruction in some subjects) and Kura Kaupapa Mäori (Mäori immersion schools operating under Mäori customs and values) were established as part of a cultural renaissance during the last ten years.

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Te Tohu Paetahi

In 1990 a proposal was advanced for a Programme in Mäori within the Bachelor of Arts Degree called Te Tohu Paetahi in which the medium of instruction was to be the Mäori Language. Other disciplines were asked to support the initiative by offering subjects taught in the medium of the Mäori language.

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0657.113 Computer Applications 1993-94

In the early 1990s the Computer Science Department rewrote the introductory course on personal computers, assigning it a new course number, 0657.113, and calling it Computer Applications.

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0657.113 Ngä Tautono Rorohiko 1993

In the summer break of 1992/1993 the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences paid two Masters students to translate the work manual of the Introduction to Computer Science Course, 0675.113, from English into Mäori.

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0657.113 Ngä Tautono Rorohiko 1994

The 1993 course was retaught in 1994, with the structure and grading of the course remaining constant, the difficulties were worked through and in almost all cases course objectives were met.

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0657.103A Introduction to Computing. 0657.104B Introduction to Computer Science. 0657.123A,B & S The Computer Experience 1995

In 1995, due to semesterisation, the Computer Science Dept. decided to alter its delivery of first level computer science courses. New Course manuals were required to support the changed curriculum.

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0657.103A He Kawenga Rorohiko 1995

It was initially envisaged that the Manual "He Kawenga Rorohiko" would be written from a revision of the manual "Ngä Tautono Rorohiko". However the task was greater than expected since 103 involved programming concepts while 113 was confined to computer applications.

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0657.123 He Tomokanga ki te Ao Rorohiko 1996

In the summer of 1995/1996 two students worked on the translation of practical assignments for the course 0657.123 He Tomokanga ki te Ao Rorohiko. This course successfully provides for students seeking technology education in a heritage language.

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The global context for LTCLs and Information Technology

The scale of the global problem of western hegemony in information technology is such that very special efforts supported by special pleading will be required to ensure the survival of LTCLs.

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Conclusions

Placing an indigenous student into an environment that is totally foreign to them, isolating them from other students of a similar background, teaching them using a pedagogy based in a different culture and then expecting them to pass well is unrealistic, no matter what subject is being taught. Providing technology courses in heritage languages promotes language preservation by expanding the vocabulary required to support communication a bout the technology. We are also concerned that the communication process between cultures be facilitated. But, we see the problem as being of much less significance than the survival of particular languages and cultures. New techniques in the internationalisation of application programs should serve to ensure LTCLs survive and enhance communication between cultures.

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Acknowledgements

This development was made possible through the foresight and support of the Dean of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Ian Graham, Kia ora Ian.

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References

Benton, R.A. (1991) The Mäori Language: Dying or Reviving? Honolulu East West Centre Association. - 0657.113: Computer Applications 1993 Course Manual, University of Waikato, Hamilton New Zealand. - 0657.123: The Computing Experience 1995 Course Manual, University of Waikato, Hamilton New Zealand.

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