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CLESOL Conference and Māori language week

Welcome back to term 3 and to te wiki o te reo Māori or Māori language week

 I hope that you are all feeling rested and are looking forward to the term ahead. I often think term 3 is a time for knuckling down in terms of the amount of learning that happens in our classrooms. Half the year is over and we suddenly realise that we still have a lot left to teach. Luckily term 3 is often the term with the fewest interruptions so a lot of progress is made.  


I loved having the opportunity to attend CLESOL in Wellington during the holidays and catching up with so many of you. One of my highlights was to have the chance to talk with fellow colleagues from around New Zealand, to make new friends and to have the opportunity to learn from each other. I was pleased with the large number that attended from the primary sector. I found something useful in nearly every session I attended even from those not directly related to primary. For example I was delightfully surprised by Naomi Migliacci from Yale University who talked about, “Essential questions and problems for 21st century language learning.” I think overall I found more of interest this year than any previous conference that I had attended. 

 I particularly enjoyed three of the keynote speakers, Bill Grabe talking about reading including his workshop on developing reading comprehension, Deborah Short on essential academic language skills, and Laurie Bauer on teaching pronunciation. Paul Nation also spoke on teacher and learning vocabulary and there were many more exciting presentation sessions.  No doubt I will share a little more over the coming weeks. I have also managed to line up a few guest post presenters who you will hear from in the coming months.

 One of the main themes coming through seemed to be the notion of needing to build fluency through many hours of practice. This applied to particularly to the need for extensive reading to build reading fluency and to build vocabulary. Obviously the books read need to be at an appropriate instructional level. Bill Grabe spoke of needing 10,000 hours of reading to become an expert reader. We need to teach our students about the importance of needing to read and to make access to suitable reading material easy and fun for them. Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this that have worked particularly well for them? 

 CLESOL Attendees please share

If you attended CLESOL then I would love to hear your thoughts. Did you have any highlights, pick up any useful strategies or techniques, or gain any new knowledge that will impact on your teaching?  Please can you share your ideas and thoughts with our community? I am sure everyone wants to know about what you found most useful. Just email to primaryesol@lists.tki.org.nz  with CLESOL Gems in the subject line. 

 Māori language week

The theme is Ko tōku nui, tōku wehi, tōku whakatiketike, tōku reo.

My language is my greatness, my inspiration, that which I hold precious.

I have shared several posts to support this topic. .

Anne Kenneally also shared the following two apps in her literacy update two great free apps:

Hika Explorer https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/hika-explorer/id604155673?mt=8

Kura https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/kura/id658132814?mt=8 .

 There has also been a lot of ideas suggested on the VLN including this post on saying thanks to people who are making an effort to use Te Reo e.g. via twitter https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14755ca150f8a112

 I would love to hear what your school is doing do highlight Maori language week and Maori students. There is so much happening in this space and so many schools are doing such a great job.  


The Latest MOE ESOL News Update

The July ESOL News Update has just been sent out to schools. If you haven’t seen a copy then you can access it here

http://a.smartmailpro.com/webv/ybab35faze .

Highlights in this issue include:  

  • Period 2 funding applications are due by 1 August
  • Suggestions for how to use the additional June funding payment to schools
  • Links to clips from the three Making Language and Learning Work DVDs which are now available online
  • How Waitakere College is supporting students from a refugee background and their families
  • Resources for schools with refugee background students.

MOE Pasifika news

I was also interested in this news posted on the VLN by Manu Faaea-Semeatu on the latest announcements from MoE Pasifika Team.  At the recent PPTA Pasifika Fono held in Auckland on Monday 14th July - Tuesday 15th July, Debra Tuifao, the new Pule Ma'ata Pasifika (Pasifika Manager for MoE) announced that there would be a national rollout of the Pasifika PowerUP programme in six regional centres.  More information will be made available once the providers have been finalised.

Debra also announced that a new Pasifika Cultural Competencies Framework (similar to Tātaiako -the Māori Cultural Competencies Framework) will also be released soon.


Kid-speak Literacy progressions

Kid-speaked reading and writing progressions are now available for use in New Zealand schools. This material has been developed to support a query in the Virtual Learning Network from a teacher who wanted to personalise her literacy programme. They have been created by teachers from across New Zealand, for use by teachers and students.

Assessment Online profiles how schools are using these kid-speak progressions in the classroom. The following stories describe how teachers helped personalise assessment to improve learning outcomes.

 'Kidspeaking' the literacy progressions


Due to the excessive length of this post I will summarise what has been happening online and in the other communities in a later post. In the meantime I hope to hear from you and in particularly from those who attended CLESOL.


Hei konā rā