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. Are they spontaneously greeting and farewelling others in real-life contexts? Do they have correct intonation and pronunciation? Do they have the necessary vocabulary to communicate about classroom objects, the timetable, and the classroom layout? Is the language that they are using accurate? Can they ask others about their mode of travel to school? Can they act on your instructions? Can they work with classmates to negotiate a route from A to B? Can they convey a simple negative, for example, “Kāore i konei” (Not here) in the context of calling the roll? Do they initiate communication in te reo Māori, for example, when asking for something to be passed?
- Factor formal assessment opportunities into your reo Māori programme so that the students’ performance is measured by their doing tasks that are framed in authentic language-learning contexts in your classroom (or school). For example, labelling different items in Māori on a classroom plan or role-playing a dialogue about lost property (or misplaced items) at school.
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:
- rewrite the story (text innovation) in Hōhepa te Pūru to a school context (seeking friends in the playground)
- complete a class timetable in Māori
- engage in an information transfer task where they have to (for example) transpose a written timetable into a spoken one (or vice versa)
- sequence picture cards to match oral or written input
- role-play typical classroom scenes with scripted dialogue (see resource sheet 2.6), with the English translations on the resource sheet, put there to help the teacher, taken out before the students use them
- combine bits of information in a dycomm task to arrive at the whole picture (For example, one student might have information about the modes of transport half of the class use to get to school, and another student might have the information about the other half. Together they have to negotiate meaning in order to create a bar graph showing the modes of transport the class uses to get to school.)
- take part in a listen-and-draw task where each student has a map with landmarks on it and one student describes a way to get to school while the other students draw it on their maps.
In addition your students could participate in a 4–3–2 task, where you give the students four, then three, and then two minutes (or whatever amount of time you judge appropriate) to explain to others what the timetable for the day/week is.