Poipoia te kākano, kia puāwai.

Nurture the seed and it will blossom.

Te reo Māori is a beautiful and expressive language that makes great use of whakatauki, metaphors and similes. It is rich and diverse. He tino pai to mahi for those students who have been learning te reo during their secondary school years. Learning a new language is rarely easy, it requires dedication, time, and perseverance. Like a seed, for students to become fluent in a language, they need support and nurture.

A great way to support yourself and others is to have an understanding of what the path ahead looks like and to avoid seeing NCEA credits as the end goal.  Focusing on connection, understanding, and incorporating te reo Māori into your everyday world can boost your confidence and create spaces to revise in a more natural setting. In regards to future pathways, te reo can be continued into university or higher education and has many career pathways. Attached to language is culture, the two are interwoven and this is reflected in how languages are taught in the New Zealand curriculum.

seedling
NCEA is about growing your skillset |unsplash - Noah Buscher

Usually, level 3 is completed in the final year of secondary school, however, languages have a little more wiggle room compared to other subjects in regards to movement within the class. This is because students come into the subject with a diverse range of prior knowledge. Some students will start their NCEA journey earlier than others depending on their fluency, such as starting NCEA level 1 in year 9. This is dependent on the students' communication abilities such as their level in te reo, ranging from native, fluent, intermediate, or beginner. This means that some students may be sitting NCEA level 3 in year 11.

On the contrary, students who are beginning their journey in te reo Mori are expected to commence their studies in year 9. This means that despite the age difference you may encounter in your class, the class generally will have similar prerequisites. So what are prerequisites? They are the base level or prior knowledge you need to start or continue within a particular course. The New Zealand curriculum structures the learning of languages off adaptations from the CEFR or Common European Framework of References for Languages. This framework identifies language abilities and places those abilities on a six-point scale. This scale ranges from A1 (beginner) to C2 (fluent).

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Achievement Objectives in Level 3 Te Reo Māori

Achievement objectives are expectations for students to meet throughout the year to demonstrate their knowledge. These expectations are decided by the Ministry of Education and assessed through NCEA assessments and exams. In Level 3 NCEA, meeting these objectives demonstrates that you have the language proficiency of B1 (intermediate speaker). There are multiple ways to meet these objectives and they will be decided by the teacher and/or the Head of the Department.

Often schools will do the same standard but the context or skill being taught may be different. So what are the Achievement Objectives?  Languages are divided into three main categories; communication, language knowledge, and cultural language. As te reo Māori is the first and an official language of Aotearoa New Zealand, often students can study te reo and te ao Māori (Māori worldview) intertwined or as two different course lines.

Communication

Throughout the year students will be tested on their ability not only to communicate but to communicate with purpose within the sociocultural contexts, such as using the correct vocabulary for the situation they are in. In NCEA level 3, students are being taught and tested on their ability to select the right terminology, symbols and texts. As intermediate speakers, there is a shift in focus from being able to participate in a conversation to being able to start, sustain, and interrelate ideas within a conversation.

Conversing is not only through talking. It is also through written texts, symbols, songs, etc. It is about communicating ideas through various formats. What this can look like within a classroom is that students explore the ideas of others and then interconnect their views. The sharing of information, opinions, and ideas is demonstrated by engaging and participating in interactions and producing texts. Remember this is NCEA level 3 so the speaking and writing sections will be looking at the variation and complexity of how you communicate with others.

Learning NCEA Level 3 te reo Maori can be done in many different ways, it is important you learn about Maori culture as they are connected | Unsplash - Jael Rodriguez

Language Knowledge

This is about not only the vocabulary the students possess but their ability to analyse te reo in regards to different purposes, how it can and is organised in different texts, and about the meaning the author or speaker wishes to convey. Te reo Māori has variations between words just like different Iwi have different protocols. Knowing that there are differences and exploring them are a part of language knowledge.

Cultural Knowledge

This section requires students to look at different ways that Māori culture is expressed for different purposes and audiences. Whakataukī are beautiful examples of how language is used to express meanings, specifically cultural meanings. Being able to understand the meaning within the whakataukī requires cultural knowledge.

Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu

Adorn the bird with feathers so it may soar.

What is the message within the words? This whakatauki is about learning and the different ways it can take place such as problem-solving, experiencing new things, and helping others. By adding more feathers (knowledge), we can accomplish and experience new things, hence we can fly higher when we add to our knowledge.

This type of whakatauki would be used in an educational setting as it is about learning. However, when thinking about learning in a Māori context, this whakatauki is not just about within a school setting, but highlighting that learning can happen in a variety of ways. Students are expected to analyse how te reo is used to express cultural meaning.

Kereru
Adding to your skillset in level 3 te reo Māori is very important | Unsplash Andrea Lightfoot

Te Pakaritanga: Achieving Personal Independence in NCEA Level 3

What does achieving personal independence mean? In the context of NCEA and learning te reo Māori as a second language, there is a range of objectives that students will meet by the end of level 8/NCEA level 3. The objectives are that students; be able to join in general conversations with fluent speakers, able to understand the majority of the conversation, able to talk about their ideas, add in their opinions, can read a variety of texts in te reo and produce writing in te reo Māori for a range of different purposes.

These objectives will be demonstrated in six different areas; whakarongo (listening), pānui (reading), mātakitaki (viewing), kōrero (speaking), tuhituhi (writing), and whakaatu (presenting). The curriculum guidelines for schools and for those who are interested can be found on TKI, the language within the PDF is geared towards teachers and educational staff but is available for everyone to access.

By achieving NCEA level 3 students will have learned a variety of strategies and resources to continue in their learning journey. These skills will help them in university and a variety of different aspects of their lives. You have learnt how to problem solve, navigate complicated ideas, persevere through difficulties and of course, can now speak two or more languages!

Listening to music can help improve your fluency in te reo Māori |unsplash - Jusdevoyage

Supporting Yourself Through NCEA Level 3 Te Reo Māori

Each learner will progress at their own pace. Some will find speaking easier while others may grasp writing first. Practice, practice, and practice, is the only way to become fluent. Practising can become difficult if your exposure to te reo is limited to your time in school. To give yourself the best chance of success, try to utilise everyday things in your learning, such as watching Maori TV, reading books, and listening to music. For more information on NCEA Level 3 te reo Māori, check out our range of guides.

There is a range of artists who incorporate te reo into their art, ranging from metal band Alien Weaponry to singer/rapper Rei. Another great way is by having a tutor. Tutors create structured lessons based on your needs and give you one-on-one time to help you build your fluency. Superprof gives you access to a range of tutors so you can find one that works for you, have a look today.

 

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