Rangi’s Reo Encourages All November 5, 2023
Rangi’s Reo began in a very organic way; it started in October 2020 when a good friend approached Rangi Ahipene with the idea of teaching her Te Reo Māori. Although she had a fair understanding of the Māori language, she needed help becoming conversational.
“I agreed to help her, and then she mentioned that some of her friends were interested in coming along as well. So, we started a small group out of her home pitched at an intermediate level,” said Ahipene.
The name Rangi’s Reo came about from one of those lounge-based classes where as a joke, Ahipene said to those assembled, “Welcome to Rangi’s Reo!” and the name stuck. The whole exercise was a new approach to learning Te Reo Māori and very much an experiment in progress. After eight weeks of one weekly class, the feedback and results were profound.
There was a marked improvement in participants Te Reo, with one participant saying that they were now speaking sentences with confidence. The course also produced an unexpected benefit where it seemed to provide a therapeutic aspect reported by some of the participants due to its holistic approach and deeper understanding of Te Reo Māori and Māori culture.
The home-based course soon expanded into a hired classroom and offered three courses a week covering beginner’s, beginner’s extension and intermediate. Ahipene ran these classes for a full year in the evenings in addition to his full-time job.
In reviewing the popularity, the great outcomes and the intensive effort required to run these physical classes, Ahipene decided to pivot and go online with Rangi’s Reo. His friend became his business partner, and they spent the next year filming, editing and engaging a developer to package it all together.
As Rangi’s Reo took form organically, Ahipene drew from his accumulated experience and knowledge and established eight principles that guide the ethos of Rangi’s Reo.
Matawhānui – spirituality, a soul approach to learning Te Reo, connecting with one’s authentic self.
Ngā Mātāpono – Māori values i.e., aroha, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga etc. Ngā Tikanga – Māori cultural insights, the language needs to be learned alongside the culture as one supports the other. It could be said that the language is the content and the culture is the context.
Tē Mahara – The principle of not stressing when learning. It’s based on the premise that physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, one can not absorb anything if they are in a state of stress.
Pūrākau – Enjoying Māori myths and legends, understanding “Te Ōrokohanga o te Ao” (The Māori Creation Story) and how it informs the Te Ao Māori.
Te Reo Huna – An introduction to the hidden meaning in some Māori words.
Whakarongo – Listening, tuning in to the vibration of Te Reo Māori.
Poukapa – Matrix learning, the principle that speaks to creating structures that the language can attach to and develop upon. An approach that reflects natural brain growth, it is a decentralised non-linear way of learning.
Ahipene’s own journey with Te Reo has influenced Rangi’s Reo; like many Māori in Aotearoa, he was not raised with Te Reo Māori. Both his grandmothers were native speakers, but the language didn’t pass on to his parents and then to him. This was partially attributed to his maternal grandmother passing away when his mother was eight and his paternal grandmother living in a community that spoke only English.
As a child growing up, Ahipene felt as though something was missing in his life, and he knew that it had something to do with being Māori. At the age of 14, Ahipene did his first whaikōrero at the marae, and after leaving school, his desire to learn Te Reo continued to grow.
One advantage Ahipene believes of being a second language learner of Te Reo is that he has developed many ways that help in acquiring Te Reo and some really good hacks in fast-tracking progress, which he has passed on via Rangi’s Reo.
“I am often asked where I got my Te Reo from, with which I answer, “everywhere!” meaning that I took advantage of every possible source and avenue in my Te Reo journey be it spending time with fluent speakers, listening to Māori TV and radio, undertaking Te Reo courses, reading Te Reo books and a lot of self-teaching.”
One advantage Ahipene believes of being a second language learner of the Te Reo is that he has developed many ways that help in acquiring Te Reo and some really good hacks in fast-tracking progress, which he has passed on via Rangi’s Reo.