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Communicative Language Teaching - Example 1

Download the video clip for FLV player (33 MB)

Duration: 03:42

Key content


Key content

We see a ‘controlled practice’ activity, using a particular sentence pattern with a range of verbs, for example, He toa au ki te ... (I am good at ...). We also see an example of a paired communicative task in practice.

Things to think about


Things to think about

What language structures can I introduce using ‘controlled practice’?




Jane Brown - Te Reo Māori Advisor, UC Education Plus, University of Canterbury: So we’ll just practice that bit...he toa au ki te kai.

Unknown Classroom members:

He toa au ki te moe.

He toa au ki te kōrero.

He toa au ki te whakarongo.

He toa au ki te mahi.

He toa au ki te kohete.

Ka pai. So now we’re going to go around in the group and then we’re going to have each person repeating what the others have said before them. (Cards are passed around a group of people and they each take a turn at practicing).

Ang: He toa a Tina ki te tunu keke. He toa au ki te whakarongo.

Terina Huranui: He toa a Ang ki te whakarongo. He toa au ki te kanikani.

That little activity there, having those cards going around with you, that’s controlled practice. That’s what we call using formulaic expressions. So what’s actually happened is that the formula of the sentence is on the cards, so what you’re actually using is a controlled...it’s a way of actually getting tamariki to practice that, alright?

An extension of this exercise...

Now this is another way that you could facilitate it...(students are standing up in two rows facing each other)...now I’m going to listen to these two and you ones are going to keep asking questions and answering and then when I say ping pong Sharon is going to run up the middle there and then you’re going to move down one. And then you’ll have a different person to talk to every time. (Students practice this activity).

What’s really good about that is that I’m just listening to this person and all of those that are coming through. So that’s all that I’m focussing on. Now I want you to swap cards.

Key Points

  • Extensive input (both controlled and naturally occurring)
  • Lots of opportunities to use language for real purposes
  • Students interacting in te reo (using the language they know)
  • Students as active participants, risk takers, learning for themselves

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