Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui

Be strong, be brave, be steadfast

As the whakatauki states, you need to be brave, strong, and steadfast. Learning a language will come easier to some and be a bit more difficult for others. So do not become disparaged by comparing your journey to the journey of someone else.

You will make many mistakes, people will not always be able to understand you, you will pronounce the word wrong, forget how to spell it, mess up the syntax, and sometimes feel like you are going in circles making no progress at all. By remaining steadfast in your goals and aspirations, you will pass NCEA Level 3 and become fluent in te reo Māori.

To help remain steadfast we have complied a range of different guides to help you understand the how and why of what you are learning. When we can see the connection between where we want to be and how we can get there, the learning becomes a little easier as we understand the logic.

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Is NCEA Te Reo Māori Level 3 Important?

By continuing and finishing Level 3 te reo Māori, there are many different pathways available to you in the future. A common regret that learners of another language express is that they forgot the language they learned after they finished school. All the work they had put in over the years slowly disappeared as they found it difficult to continue once they left school.

As te reo Māori is an official and is the native language of New Zealand, your chances of retaining and expanding your knowledge are more likely. This is because across Aotearoa there are places where you can engage with te reo in authentic situations. This could be at your local marae, night classes in your local college or school, or even book clubs.

Trail of books in a forest
Find a range of groups to help you improve your te reo Maori | Unsplash - Laura Kapfer

It is a rich, diverse, and accessible language to learn. According to researcher Chris Krageloh, from the Auckland University of Technology, it is one of the easiest languages to learn. By learning te reo you are expanding not only your knowledge but your ability to communicate with more people. Thanks to the determination and hard work of Māori activists such as Ngā Tamatoa and many others, te reo Māori has a bright future ahead with the number of speakers growing, with over te reo Māori in 2020.

By achieving Level 3 you are an intermediate speaker of the language and have enough skills to operate independently in most situations. For those of you looking at continuing your studies at University, te reo Māori is a University Entrance subject. You need to pass three University approved subjects while also passing NCEA Level 3 to gain this certificate. For those of you interested in limited entry courses, check with your teacher or careers counsellor about what you need to take to gain entrance. For more information check out our guide.

Demystifying the NCEA Te Reo Māori Level 3 Syllabus

When we are studying a language, the goal is not to pass but to be able to communicate with others. So what does communicating with others look like? This guide explains the New Zealand curriculum achievement objectives in relation to the te reo Māori course. Each school will have differences in how they teach certain skills and explore different topics. But the skills you learn will be the same as the goal is the same, personal independence.

So what is personal independence? Being able to go to a café and order a drink by yourself? Well not quite. Personal independence looks like communicating with a sense of purpose beyond a general conversation, having the vocabulary knowledge to understand and speak, write and read correctly, and having the cultural knowledge to understand the nuance within te reo Māori.

The culture cannot be separated from the language. With these skills and knowledge, you would be able to communicate with others without continuously having to refer to someone else for help, you will be able to join and understand a range of conversations, and be able to understand and produce a range of different texts.

By understanding what the end objectives are, you can identify where you are in comparison.  There will be areas that require more time and attention compared to others. A part of your learning is to have the skills to reflect on your progress.

NCEA Level 3 Te Reo Māori Questions Explained

Reading and understanding are two different things. Often students read the questions in the exam but do not take the time to understand them. This can prevent them from gaining excellence or merit despite having the ability to do so. By revising the structure of your writing you can go from telling the answer to justifying it.

This is because understanding the questions is a skill in itself. This guide can help you decode the questions so you know what it is you need to do. Once you crack the code, you can then create a plan on how to answer it. When it comes to merit and excellence questions they are testing your language, grammar, and critical thinking skills.

Within the New Zealand curriculum, te reo Māori is arranged into a set of different skills. For each skill, there is a range of goals for students to achieve. Credits are not the goal, they just demonstrate you have the skill. In particular, this guide covers the kōrero, tuhituhi, and whakarongo sections.

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There are many opportunities for te reo Maori speakers | Unsplash - Christina Wocintechchat

Each skill has different objectives. Understanding what these objectives are can help you understand the ‘why’ of certain things. It also helps to understand the order of learning. You have to have the basics down before you can progress. Often intermediate speakers arrive at what they feel is a plateau, they are not seeing the same progress they saw before. This is totally normal.

To help rid yourself of that feeling, look at the progress in regards to the detail. For example, you can read a text in te reo but you don’t understand all the words, however, you can see that it is an opinion piece due to the words and syntax the author has chosen to use. That is progress.  Learning is like building a tower, if we don’t have good foundations, we will have more difficulties later. We can only build our tower of knowledge so far if we have shaky foundations.

NCEA Level 3 Te Reo Māori Past Papers

While te reo Māori may be considered one of the easiest languages to learn along with Finnish, there is still work you need to do. One of the trickiest parts of learning a language is revision. You need to constantly revise your vocabulary and develop your grammar. Often students are unsure what exactly it is they need to revise. This is where past exam papers can help.

Past exam papers can help you figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are so you can revise with a sense of purpose. As you go through the paper you can answer real questions and then compare them to the marking schedule and exemplars. Exemplars are examples of real students' work for achieved, merit, and excellence.

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Decoding questions is a skill you need to learn | Unsplash - Green Chameleon

Another advantage of using past NCEA Level 3 te reo Māori papers is that they help you to familiarise yourself with the layout of an external exam. While the general layout does not change greatly over the three levels of NCEA, the questions become more complex and your answers need to be more detailed. Detailed doesn’t just mean packed with information, it has to show organisation, relevance and be justified.

By understanding what the examiner is looking for, you can improve how you approach the NCEA Level 3 te reo Māori exam. In particular, this guide looks at the Tuhituhi and Pānui sections. It breaks down what is required for achieved, merit, and excellence as well as provides some useful study tips. The guide on past exam papers for te reo Māori helps you set yourself up for success in more detail.

A Helping Hand

Exams, revision, achievement objectives, assessments, credits. It can get a bit much. If you feel like you need a hand to get you through NCEA, Superprof can connect you with a wide range of tutors. You can find someone who can work with your schedule, learning style, budget, and for the duration you need.

 

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