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 formally:
- Observe your students as they work on different communicative tasks and activities, individually, in pairs, or in groups, and assess their performance. Do they have the necessary vocabulary to communicate about food meaningfully? Is the language that they are using accurate? Can they ask others about their food preferences/wants? Can they work with classmates to work out necessary ingredients? Can they say a simple karakia to bless food? Can they express a simple negative? Do they initiate kōrero in te reo Māori about food, for example, when exploring their lunch box contents?
- Factor in to your reo Māori programme formal assessment opportunities so that students’ performance is measured by their doing tasks that are framed in authentic language learning contexts, for example, making sandwiches.
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:
- sequentially reconstruct a food-related strip story that has been divided into separate bits
- complete speech balloons or picture captions for meal scenarios and then role-play them
- participate with a partner in a same-different task, where each pair has an outline of a recipe (with text and/or pictures) with some identical elements and use te reo Māori to work out the differences
- engage in an information transfer task in which they have to transpose visual diagrams depicting food preparation into written text, or vice versa
- complete a cloze task by filling in the missing words in a food-related story or recipe
- participate in a 4–3–2 task, where you give them four, then three, and then two minutes (or however long you judge is appropriate) to explain to others the ingredients needed and/or how to make a dish
- listen to a dictocomp, where you read a food-related story to them, twice, and they make notes (in English, in te reo Māori, or in both languages), then they reproduce the main ideas, either orally or in a written form, by combining the knowledge recorded in the notes
- complete a true-false-make it right task, where they listen carefully and state whether each of your statements about a food-related text is “kei te tika” (true) or “kei te hē” (false) and then correct the erroneous statements
- combine bits of information in a dycomm task to arrive at the whole picture. (For example, one student could have a meal plan or shopping list for Sunday to Wednesday, and another student could have the plan or list for Thursday to Saturday. They negotiate meaning together in order to work out the plan or list for the whole week.)
In addition, the students could use play money and empty food packages to set up a shop in the classroom and simulate real-life shopping, practising their exchanges in te reo Māori.