GT: What to expect when learning Te Reo as an adult learner


  1. Expect it to be hard - You will stumble on your words, mispronounce, get tenses wrong. It’s ok. No one expects you to be a fluent speaker.

  2. Find a study buddy or someone to lean on for support

  3. Read kohanga books. Easy reo to get your tongue and head around. Also kohanga songs. Perfect for learning vowels and pronunciation.

  4. Find a safe zone. A place where you can learn and practice without worrying about anything else going on. Te Wananga o Aotearoa provides a perfect environment for learning

  5. Memorise the shortcut keys for tohutō on all of your devices



  1. Let people know that you’re a learner, and that you’ve begun your Te Reo journey. People are less inclined to be “critical” and give you space and time to get things wrong. It can be daunting, especially when you’re surrounded by fluent or proficient speakers. But by letting them know what you’re about to embark on, you’ll find people will encourage and support you

  2. Ignore the haters. You know the ones. Mock your attempts, tease you. Etc. Tell them to peace out.

  3. The language is just the gateway to Te Ao Māori. You will learn not just the language, but also waiata, karakia, tikanga, kawa, hitori

  4. Be prepared to be vulnerable. It’s ok, everything that means something usually involves you to be a little vulnerable. Beautiful things can come from that vulnerability.

  5. Utilise all of the online and offline tools at your disposal.