The Languages Learning Area offers French and Te Reo Maori (New Zealand's second official language) at all levels from Years 9 to 13. 


We believe all students should study a language for these reasons:

  • Learning a language benefits all students intellectually, socially and culturally.
  • Learning a new language gives students a better understanding of their first language.
  • Learning a new language gives students the skills to learn further languages they will increasingly need.
  • Exploring language helps students to gain skills and confidence and encourages them to take learning risks.
  • Learning a new language enables students to take their place in a multi-cultural community and a multi-lingual world.

Career Pathways

The programmes offered at Howick College all lead into courses at tertiary level. Young people who combine the study of a foreign language or Maori with business, law, commerce, science, engineering, technology, tourism or politics may find increased career opportunities. Many tertiary institutions now offer combination degree or diploma courses which include a language component.

Teaching Staff

Whaea Eleanor Biddle- Robinson- HOD Maori


Ms Giordana Santosuosso - TiC French
Mrs Gudrun Browne - French

Mrs Sonja Petkovic- French


Why do French?

French is used widely throughout the world, as a first language in countries such as: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and New Caledonia. It is also spoken as a second language by over 200 million people in over 50 countires. It is the official language in over 20 of these nations and an official working language of numerouse international organisations such as: the Red Cross, the IMG and the UN. After English it is the second most widely spread language in the world. Other languages have more speakers but they are much more geographically restricted. French is spoken in almost every area of the world.


Where does French lead?

French can be an end in itself, as part of an Arts degreee or as a way of enriching one's personal life through personal contact with French speakers, culture, literature and films. More often these days, it is a valuable additional skill when combined with qualifications in: commerce, law, publishing, human resources, tourism and hospitality. In these days of mult-national corporations, it is increasinlgy important to be able to speak one or more languages as well as your own.


In 2016, a group of 16 French language students spent two weeks on a cultural experience trip in France. They visited Paris, Carcasonne, Montpellier and saw many famous French historic sites such as the Musee d'Orsay, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Pont du Gard and Mont St Michel. While in Montpellier, they completed a five day language course and homestayed with local families.

Te Reo Maori

Why do Maori?

Te Reo Maori is the language of the tangata whenua (People of the Land) and an official language of New Zealand alongside English. It is the distinctive vehicle of communication of a distinctive culture. At more than one eighth of the population, Maori people make up the country's largest ethic minority.


Learning Maori as a second language contributes to cross-cultural understanding and social harmony. By learning Maori, students have access to the indigenous culture, to its customs, to its oral traditions and growing literature. Most importantly, they are able to speak with and listen to Maori people in Maori - in the language in which the essence of Maoritanga is expressed.


Where does Maori lead?

Maori is taught at a wide range of levels in many types of institutions. It should not be difficult for a student to find a suitable course to continue their studies at higher levels if they wish.


Persons with an ability to communicate in te reo Maori and to understand the Maori perspective are increasingly finding that they have an advantage in career areas as diverse as: broadcasting and the media, tourism, hospitality, the Public Service, nursing and medicine, law and justice and teaching.