About Māori Mai ME

Māori Mai ME is the world’s first developmental virtual reality app for learning te reo Māori (the Māori language). The name of the app is a combination of the Māori words ‘Māori Mai’ to mean ‘present Māori’ and the English word ‘ME’ which has been capitalised to emphasise the pronoun ‘me’. In this way, the name ‘Māori Mai ME’ means ‘Present the Māori language to me’. This play on both languages encapsulates the bilingual and biliterate functionality of the ‘Māori Mai ME’ app.

The virtual reality environments of the ‘Māori Mai ME’ app were selected on the basis of high social interaction to engage users in conversational turn-taking with different virtual characters. The bilingual and biliterate content of the ‘Māori Mai ME’ app exemplifies culturally sustaining/revitalising pedagogy (Lee & McCarty, 2017) in that the patterning sequence includes first an introduction (mihi), followed by a genealogical reference (whakapapa), then a gesture of hospitality (manaaki tangata), and finally a social event (ngahau). While using the app, users will have multiple opportunities to rehearse, refine and rate their pronunciation and overall language performance using audio recordings of female and male novice speakers, proficient youth speakers and proficient mature speakers.

The ‘Māori Mai ME’ app focuses on the effectiveness of virtual reality as a language learning tool to reduce a user’s feelings of whakamā (anxiety) while learning te reo Māori. Second Language Acquisition studies have concluded that anxiety can hinder learners’ language production and progress. The inherent qualities of virtual reality are immersion, interaction and imagination which has the potential to reduce anxiety for those wanting to learn te reo Māori. Although the ‘Māori Mai ME’ app is very much a developmental product as the world’s first virtual reality Māori language learning app, by design it makes new and exciting contributions to the field of second language learning and teaching, more particularly to users in the initial stages of their second language acquisition journey.

Māori Mai ME provides

A way to learn a new language with new technology

A chance to boost your confidence by speaking to virtual characters

An opportunity to learn to speak the indigenous language of New Zealand


Māori Mai ME Tutorial

Download Māori Mai ME

The Team

Sophie Tauwehe Tamati

Tauwehe’s research focuses on TransAcquisition Pedagogy (TAP) for emergent bilinguals in minority and migrant groups around the world. The TAP teaching procedures for cross-linguistic transfer promote active engagement between the bilingual student’s languages to accelerate reading comprehension in both languages. Her research includes the use of TAP for the biliterate teaching of academic English to raise the reading achievement levels of Māori medium students and bilingual immigrant students in English medium schools. Tauwehe's research also includes the development and evaluation of translingual digital environments in virtual reality apps as pedagogical tools for Second Language Acquisition.

Nasser Giacaman

Nasser completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Software Engineering at the University of Auckland, followed by a PhD in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineering. He now lectures in the Software Engineering programme. Research interests mostly focus on applying digital technology to educational contexts, known as Digital Educational Engineering. This includes targeting both software engineering education (with the development of tools and apps to help students learn difficult programming concepts), as well as exploring teaching and research collaborations to other educational areas.

Kenney Chan

Kenney is a software engineer currently in industry, and was the software developer behind Māori Mai ME. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Software Engineering with First Class Honours. Kenney has a diverse range of interests and loves to jump on all opportunities to learn a new skill. His career goal is to be able to create software to help others.

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