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ABSTRACT. Language is a casement into cultures’ deepest meanings. As children acquire languages, they implicitly adopt the mores of people around them; read the symbols, artefacts and codes. In this article, we examine the importance of language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Matauranga mo ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa/Early Childhood Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1996). The focus of the article is on literacy from a bicultural perspective. Adults support children in finding out about both their social and physical worlds. They use their ‘imaginations to explore their own and others’ identities’ (MoE, 1996, p. 25). Our aim is to offer teachers in mainstream early childhood centres (ECE) strategies to apply, practise and situate literacy approaches that reflect Te Ao Māori through stories reflecting symbolic representations of people, places and things. pp. 79–96

Keywords: identity; language; storying; Te Ao Māori; Te Whāriki

doi:10.22381/KC6120187

MARGARET J. STUART
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Independent Researcher
LESLEY K. RAMEKA
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University of Waikato

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