New Tokelauan language resource launched

Issue: Volume 98, Number 20

Posted: 21 November 2019
Reference #: 1HA2zf

Six newly launched gagana Tokelau storybooks and teacher support materials are the latest in a series of learning supports for five Pacific languages.

Over 1,150 primary, intermediate and secondary schools nationwide are receiving sets of Tokelau storybooks and teacher materials to support the teaching and learning of gagana Tokelau as an additional language in The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) in Years 7–10.

Six Tokelau storybooks and teaching materials were launched by the Ministry of Education on Saturday 2 November at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua during the Tokelau Language Week celebrations. 

The Tokelau resources are the final in a series of learning supports for five Pacific languages in gagana Sāmoa, te reo Kūki Āirani Māori, lea faka Tonga and vagahau Niue.

The storybooks have been developed to support the Learning Languages Series resource Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau. The resources will give teachers confidence and guidance to deliver quality gagana Tokelau teaching by providing practical ideas, frameworks, exercises and planning tools to use in classroom language delivery. 

Each story gives students opportunities to extend their language and cultural knowledge and to practise reading the target language of specific units in Muakiga.

Pacific languages hold a special place in the curriculum

Schools may choose to offer any additional language to study as part of their curriculum. Learning a new language encourages students to participate more actively in New Zealand’s diverse multicultural and global community. 

Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa says Pacific Languages have a special place in New Zealand and in our education curriculum. 

“The benefit of these books is that they offer entry-level lessons for teachers and students who are new learners of gagana Tokelau,” she says of the new resource. 

“The importance of culture, language and identity was a clear theme in feedback received during the recent Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga,” she says. 

“Young people were among those saying they are more likely to feel good about themselves and succeed when they learn in an environment that is genuinely responsive to their cultures.”

Launch event a celebration of Tokelauan language and culture

The launch of the new resource was led by Kris Faafoi, the first Tokelau New Zealand Member of Parliament. It was attended by over 300 people, including parents, families, and leaders from the wider Tokelauan community. 

In addition to celebrating Tokelauan language and culture, the event provided the opportunity to acknowledge the writers, illustrators and contributors of the storybooks.

The resource was developed by Te Kauri Research, led by Gail Spence and Annette Lole Karepa, working in collaboration with LIFT Education, to support the Learning Languages Series resource Muakiga! An Introduction to gagana Tokelau to encourage the use of gagana Tokelau in classrooms. The resources are for teachers and leaders in New Zealand English-medium school settings.

Storybooks and teacher support materials are available on the Pasifika TKI(external link) site. 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:08 pm, 21 November 2019

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