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Sondra Bacharach

Sondra Bacharach is no stranger to education. She currently teaches a university philosophy programme in Aotearoa and has experienced classroom environments as a student within the American, French and German education systems. 

Having been fortunate enough to experience a range of diverse cultures, Sondra values learning and embracing the culture and the language of the country that she lives in.

“It was becoming clear that I’ve lived here a long time and hadn’t made the effort to learn. I wanted to learn even though it’s scary. It’s a big commitment, and I knew I couldn’t stop once I started,” says Sondra.

After recommendations from multiple friends, Sondra said enrolling at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was a no-brainer. After beginning her journey in 2021, she has been nothing but impressed with her experience of learning te reo Māori.

Sondra praises the quality of online resources available through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, especially during lockdown when classroom teaching was unavailable.

“It’s been amazing. As a teacher, I know how hard it is to shift to Zoom and make it work for everybody. I feel like I’m a part of a community here, and I keep coming back for that reason.”

Her decision to study te reo Māori stemmed from a variety of reasons. She has seen her tamariki involved in Māori kaupapa through their schooling and sees the relevance in establishing a better understanding of te ao Māori as a parent and resident in Aotearoa, as well as with her mahi as an Associate Professor.

Last year, Sondra completed te reo Māori programme, He Pī ka Rere Level 3 and 4. She is grateful for the exceptional quality of learning she experienced, and acknowledges her kaiako, Rob Bromley.

“He was open with his story and allowed everyone to connect with him. It was amazing having a kaiako who would make you feel so welcome in the classroom.”

To further her mātauranga Māori, Sondra is now studying Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Still, she is adamant about continuing her reo Māori journey.

“I have to go all the way until the end. You can’t stop learning a language until you are fluent; that’s my theory.”

Find out more about our reo Māori (language) programmes.


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Published On: 08 May 2024

Article By: Kohu Whakahoehoe

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