To improve student learning in te reo Māori, assessment is best seen as an ongoing process that arises out of the relationship between teaching and learning – where the gathering and analysis of evidence, much of it of the moment, provides useful information on your students’ acquisition of te reo Māori. Through the gathering of such evidence, you will gain insights that will shape your practice, and your students will gain insights that will shape their learning.
In the curriculum guidelines, Te Aho Arataki, there are suggestions for possible learning and assessment activities for curriculum levels 1–2 and curriculum levels 3–4. In addition, there is helpful material collected online in Te Whakaipurangi Rauemi. This collection elaborates on some of the communicative tasks outlined in Tasks and activities including cloze tasks, dycomm tasks, information transfer tasks, multi-choice tasks, strip stories, same-different tasks, dictocomps, listen-and-draw tasks, true-false-make it right tasks, and 4–3–2 tasks.
Ways to monitor progress, both informally and informally:
- Observe your students as they work on different communicative tasks and activities, individually, in pairs, or in groups, and assess their performance. (Do the students have the necessary vocabulary to communicate meaningfully about themselves and significant others? Is the language that they are using accurate? Can they ask others about their whānau/whakapapa? Can they work with classmates to communicate about their respective family trees? Can they recite their pepeha/mihimihi to introduce themselves? Do they initiate kōrero in te reo Māori, for example, to describe people?)
- Factor in to your te reo Māori programme formal assessment opportunities so that the students’ performance is measured by their doing tasks that are framed in authentic language learning contexts (like whānau and whakapapa).
Using tasks to assess learning
You and your students could use any of the communicative language tasks described in the Tasks and activities section to assess learning. For example, the students could:
- listen as you give some information about a family tree, take notes, and then tell you the main relationships (a dictocomp task)
- participate with a partner in a same-different task, in which students have slightly different versions of a family tree and they ask and answer questions in order to work out the differences
- take part in an information transfer task in which they draw a visual diagram of a family tree after you describe it.
In addition they could participate in a 4–3–2 task, in which you give them four, then three, and then two minutes (or however long you determine is appropriate) to practise talking about their whakapapa.