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Tiakina te Kōrero for whānau

Model overview 

Tiakina te Kōrero doe Whānau aims to support families in enhancing language-rich environments at home for their young children (0-3 years old). Its core design comprises six weekly sessions covering important knowledge and tools to boost language. These sessions have been tailored to diverse contexts, including teen parents, playgroups, and community family groups, in collaboration with whānau and community partners.

Participating whānau complete baseline and end-of-programme surveys to measure improvement in their knowledge, confidence and actions around early language and responsive communication.


  • Whānau with young children (0-3 years old) from various backgrounds.

  • Whānau supporters, who receive training and support to deliver the programme with families.

Summary of content

Week 1: Whanaungatanga

  • Introduction to the concept that babies are already communicating and the importance of noticing and responding to their cues.

  • Encourages sharing personal experiences and stories.

  • Videos are provided to illustrate concepts share the experiences of other whānau.

Week 2: Serve and return

  • Focuses on recognising and responding to a young child's communication cues.

  • Encourages practical modeling and conversation techniques.

Week 3: Kanohi ki te kanohi - face to face

  • Highlights the significance of face-to-face interactions for learning and communication.

  • Encourages observing and understanding baby cues by getting closer to the child.

  • Utilises Talking Matters’ video coaching tools for interactive learning and reflection.

Week 4: Juicy words

  • Explores techniques for adding and gifting language to babies.

  • Encourages sharing personal successes and challenges in language enrichment.

  • Connects language gifting with the values of the whānau and the significance of nurturing a child's mana.

Week 5: More than words

  • Covers various topics including singing (waiata mai), interpreting pictures, storytelling, optimising routines, and understanding play as learning.

  • Introduces strategies and activities while delving deeper during personalised coaching sessions.

  • Encourages setting specific goals for language enrichment.

Week 6: Tune-in and notice

  • Revisits the importance of observing and responding to a baby's signals after an extended focus on language and communication.

  • Encourages reflection on the learning journey, changes in behavior, and future steps.

  • Explores practical implications of the programme's teachings in everyday interactions.


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