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 meaningfully about health-associated topics? Is the language that they are using accurate? Can they ask others about their health and how they are feeling? Can they work with classmates on tasks that require them to communicate in te reo Māori, albeit a little? Do they initiate kōrero in te reo Māori to describe how they are feeling?
- Factor in to your Māori language programme formal assessment opportunities so that the students’ performance is measured by their doing tasks that are framed in authentic language learning contexts, such as communicating how they are feeling.
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:
- participate with a partner in a same-different task where each student has a series of numbered sports pictures (some of them identical), and they use te reo Māori to ask and answer questions in order to work out the similarities and differences
- engage in an information transfer task where they draw, for example, the location of an ailment on a diagram of a body, based on what you say or write, or they transpose information from pictures of different ailments into spoken or written text
- complete a true-false listening task, responding with “kei te tika” (true) and “kei te hē” (false) (For example, you could use the following text: Mō te purei poiuka he pōro, he pūtu, he tarau poto, he tōkena roa, he pōtae mārō, he rākete, he hingareti, he panekoti, he patu, he rawhi. In English, this means: For playing softball (you need) a ball, some boots, some short trousers, some long socks, a hard hat, a racket, a singlet, a skirt, a bat, (and) a basket.)
- do a listen-and-draw task where, for example, you describe the equipment for a PE lesson and they draw it.
In addition, students could:
- participate in a 4–3–2 task, where students are given four, three, and then two minutes (or however long is appropriate for your students) to describe one of the hauora reomations
- take part in a dictocomp task where you describe someone’s diet or exercise habits for, say, 7 days, and the students jot down notes then use their notes to reproduce the main ideas
- combine bits of information in a dycomm task to arrive at the whole picture. For example, give one student information/pictures about plants used for medicinal purposes (rongoā), and their partner information about ailments that can be treated using those plants. Together they must negotiate meaning in order to match the ailment with the rongoā. (The books Koro’s Medicine and Ngā Rongoā a Koro may be useful.)