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Establishing oral language progressions for the Māori language

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Title:Establishing oral language progressions for the Māori language
Authors:Edmonds, Katarina
Contributors:Edmonds, Katarina (speaker)
Date Issued:28 Feb 2013
Description:This paper sets out the establishment of progressions of oral language proficiency for total immersion Māori schools. It discusses the process of documenting the students' language and the analyses that led to the establishment of a reliable and valid scale to ascertain levels of proficiency. A major aim for the researchers was to establish a database that makes explicit the progressions in oral proficiency of students in Māori immersion from year one through to year eight.

National standards for literacy and numeracy is one of the most important issues driving educational policy and practice in New Zealand. The establishment of progressions in oral language proficiency for te reo Māori is part of this development.
As at 2009, 19.9% of students were in Māori-language education. Students in Māori medium education by level of learning numbered 28,171. Year 2008 data from the Māori-medium education sector shows that Māori-medium schools are more likely to meet both the literacy and numeracy requirements (in te reo Māori or English) for NCEA Level 1 by the end of Year 11 than their Māori counterparts in English-medium schools (in English).

Despite the indication of greater success through Māori-medium, the role of Māori language proficiency in Māori-medium education has not featured in language and education assessment in New Zealand. Educators, are aware of the importance of academic achievement, however, most do not realise that Māori language proficiency is of equal significance for learners. Standards of achievement or the progressions of learning in Māori- medium is largely unknown and generally judged by student performance on the adaptations of various national assessments adapted from mainstream education.

In 2000, a team of researchers contracted by the University of Waikato, for the Ministry of Education developed tests in listening, speaking reading and writing, to assess Māori language proficiency. Due to lack of funding and organisational support the project was discontinued, however, the 'speaking' data from that process has informed the current research. Oral language progressions that students could be expected to make at the different ages and stages of their Māori language development in Māori-medium contexts, and how this can be measured, has been established.
Rights:Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections: 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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