Programme aims for correct use of the reo

Taki Akina programme launched in Gisborne.

Taki Akina programme launched in Gisborne.

These teachers working to improve their oral competency and delivery of te reo Maori in schools were part of the official launch workshop of Taki Akina — a programme aimed at teaching children to correct grammar and sentence structure in Maori. From left are Hana Chaffey, Horowai Smith, Bayleigh Harrison, Kim Hapi and Taki Akina creator and programme facilitator Keita Ngata.
Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

Improving the delivery of te reo Maori in schools is the focus of a new programme launched in Gisborne.

Taki Akina is a professional development programme for teachers, which strives to ensure children are being taught correct grammar and sentence structure.

The launch included a two-day workshop, where about 30 teachers from Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast received strategies and resources to help them in the classroom.

Launch of programme a celebration

Taki Akina is the brainchild of local educator Keita Ngata who developed the programme with some of her colleagues.

The launch has brought their vision to life.

“It is a celebration for us.

“The thought came in 2008 and we started developing a pilot programme the same year.

“Over the next two years we introduced it into a few schools to trial.

“In 2015 we were awarded $48,720 by the Ministry of Education’s teacher-led innovation fund to develop a full programme.

“It was a very long process, but a sure one. That’s why we’re really excited and why we say it is a celebration.”

Ms Ngata designed Taki Akina as a strategy to correct errors spoken in te reo Maori.

“As teachers we would often hear errors being spoken by the children,” said Ms Ngata.

“If children are making errors then teachers are likely to be making them as well.

“If children are continually repeating sentence patterns with errors, it will become fossilised in their korero, and that is really hard to undo.

“So we asked ourselves — ‘how do we help teachers raise the level of reo that is spoken?’”

Fun programme that provokes spontaneous reo

The team were determined to develop a programme that would be fun and provoke spontaneous reo.

“We wanted to eradicate confusion, especially around tenses (when speaking in the past, present and future), and have tamariki use correct sentence structures.

“But we wanted them to be doing it confidently as well,” said Ms Ngata.

“We needed something that would entice the children to speak spontaneously.”

The programme was trialled at Tolaga Bay Area School, Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri, Wairoa Primary School and Te Kura o Manutuke, targeted at children aged 7 to 8.

“In that age group they will korero whether they are right or wrong,” said Ms Ngata.

“We were blown away by how effective the programme was. The tamariki were using everyday elementary reo and their accuracy improved by the end of the trial.

“Every teacher who participates in the programme receives resources — a manual, lesson plans as well as a whole pack of activities.

“Although it was initially an intervention strategy, it is also an amazing teaching tool, designed by teachers who know the logistics of te reo Maori.

“We know it works because we have researched it, we have trialled it, and the results have been successful.”

Ms Ngata said future workshops would continue to be delivered to teachers.

Improving the delivery of te reo Maori in schools is the focus of a new programme launched in Gisborne.

Taki Akina is a professional development programme for teachers, which strives to ensure children are being taught correct grammar and sentence structure.

The launch included a two-day workshop, where about 30 teachers from Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast received strategies and resources to help them in the classroom.

Launch of programme a celebration

Taki Akina is the brainchild of local educator Keita Ngata who developed the programme with some of her colleagues.

The launch has brought their vision to life.

“It is a celebration for us.

“The thought came in 2008 and we started developing a pilot programme the same year.

“Over the next two years we introduced it into a few schools to trial.

“In 2015 we were awarded $48,720 by the Ministry of Education’s teacher-led innovation fund to develop a full programme.

“It was a very long process, but a sure one. That’s why we’re really excited and why we say it is a celebration.”

Ms Ngata designed Taki Akina as a strategy to correct errors spoken in te reo Maori.

“As teachers we would often hear errors being spoken by the children,” said Ms Ngata.

“If children are making errors then teachers are likely to be making them as well.

“If children are continually repeating sentence patterns with errors, it will become fossilised in their korero, and that is really hard to undo.

“So we asked ourselves — ‘how do we help teachers raise the level of reo that is spoken?’”

Fun programme that provokes spontaneous reo

The team were determined to develop a programme that would be fun and provoke spontaneous reo.

“We wanted to eradicate confusion, especially around tenses (when speaking in the past, present and future), and have tamariki use correct sentence structures.

“But we wanted them to be doing it confidently as well,” said Ms Ngata.

“We needed something that would entice the children to speak spontaneously.”

The programme was trialled at Tolaga Bay Area School, Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri, Wairoa Primary School and Te Kura o Manutuke, targeted at children aged 7 to 8.

“In that age group they will korero whether they are right or wrong,” said Ms Ngata.

“We were blown away by how effective the programme was. The tamariki were using everyday elementary reo and their accuracy improved by the end of the trial.

“Every teacher who participates in the programme receives resources — a manual, lesson plans as well as a whole pack of activities.

“Although it was initially an intervention strategy, it is also an amazing teaching tool, designed by teachers who know the logistics of te reo Maori.

“We know it works because we have researched it, we have trialled it, and the results have been successful.”

Ms Ngata said future workshops would continue to be delivered to teachers.

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