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Communicative Language Teaching: Example 2

Key content


Key content

Teachers demonstrate a listening activity to discriminate between two interrogatives – "He aha?" (What?) and "E hia?"(How many?). This leads to a "same/different" task in pairs and an individual "listen and draw" task.

Things to think about


Things to think about

How could I use or adapt the second language strategies exemplified here (for example, ‘same/different’; ‘listen and draw’)?




Kathleen Scott - Te Reo Māori Advisor, UC Education Plus, University of Canterbury:
We’re going to look at the hardest one for communicative activities, which is whakarongo. A little phrase that means “what”.

Do you know what that means in Māori? He aha? – What?

(She shows the students a series of pictures and asks "He aha?". Students answer and say what the pictures are.)

What’s the other question to do with? It says “E hia”. Do you know what that is? E hia? – How many?

If I ask, "E hia?", what kind of answer do you give for that one?

(She shows a picture of a cat.)

(Student replies) "Tahi."

Tahi, ka pai.

In a sentence "Ko tahi" sounds much better.

(She shows the students a series of pictures and asks "E hia?". Students answer with a number that reflects how many are in the picture shown.)

(Kathleen then changes back to asking "He aha?".)

Oooh I was tricky, this is whakarongo, remember I said this was going to be whakarongo ,so I changed the question: "He aha?".

You have a mission, an authentic mission. You’ve got to find the other person who’s got the same picture as you.

But you’ve got to do it in Māori, and you’re not allowed to show them your piece of paper. You’re going to go around asking questions.

Now, if you’re a flash and fluent speaker, you might say, "He aha to pikitia?"–What’s your picture? – "He aha te mea kei roto i tō pikitia?".

But if you’re a beginner all you’re listening for is the "He aha" bit or the "E hia" bit. You might put some flasher stuff on the end so it’s multi-level. You’re just listening for "He aha" or "E hia".

Okay, e tū and go and find your buddies.

(Students practice the exercise.)

He tuatara?

Kia ora e hoa.

Taihoa – e hia?

Kotahi he tuatara kei roto i taku pikitia.

Ka pai nō reira ...

Kotahi ... e hia ngā tuatara kei roto i tō pikitia.

Āe. Kotahi noa iho.

Kia ora.

Ka pai.

Communicative, how was that communicative? And how was it whakarongo?

So the kōrero which is by the way, and because you had to practice it, most of you had to practice a few times, it was lovely ... I got to hear some lovely reo in there. Did it matter if somebody said the sentence a bit around the wrong way?

Most important was the meaning. You had a gap, you had meaning.

You could use this activity, it can just be "He aha" and then flasher versions of the sentence, when you just want to get your maths groups going. Whatever vocab you’re doing with your group at the moment, this is how you pair them up. It’s got authentic reasons.

Okay next one, going down one column people who’ve got “a” have got a cross on their number one picture.

They’re going to ask people across from them, we’ll probably go and have a wee space in a moment, so they can ask.

Got to see if they can get if they’ve got the same picture as them.

So what’s one of the questions that people on this side are going to ask first? "He aha?"

Okay you’re going to ask He aha and they’re going to tell you. They may have the same thing, they may not. They’ll answer.

Then if they’ve got the same thing, you need to ask how many. You’ve got the one kōwhai and they’ve got the three, or two or however many there is. Kei te pai?

You know if you haven’t, you shake your head kāore, whatever reo you’ve got. If it’s body language the reo you’ve got, then that’s what you use.

(Students practice the exercise.)

Pikitia tuatahi.

Ka pai.

He aha kei roto i tō pikitia tuatahi.

He tūī ki tōku pikitia tuatahi.

E hia ngā tūī?

E rua.

E rua?

Āe. E hia?


Nō reira he rerekē nē?.


He aha ki roto i tō pikitia tuarua?

He kōwhai kei roto i tōku pikitia.

Ka pai. E hia ngā kōwhai?

Toru. E toru ngā kōwhai.

E hia tō kōwhai?

Kotahi noa iho nō reira kāo.

Okay, so do you get the idea of that? Communicative. Was there a gap? (Student replies yes.)

A gap in the knowledge, was there a gap that you had to find out something from the other person to complete the activity? Did you have to prove that you could listen? If you couldn’t listen, if you didn’t hear "E hia" and kept answering "He aha", yep.

This is a drawing activity so you’re just going to be really, really quiet, and you’re going to draw whatever I say.

(Students practice the exercise.)

Kotahi te kōwhai.

Kotahi te tūī.

E rua ngā weka.

Ka pai, did you get it right? You got the right things? I would never have known that was two weka, ka pai.

How could you use the communicative activities, the "He aha" type things, the running round the room finding partners, the same and different things, the drawing things, all whakarongo that are coming up in the next term, next few weeks in your class that you think that you might be able to actually do?

You might get the students to draw the beautiful pictures if you’re not the most ... if you and the computer can’t come up with some beautiful pictures. But have a wee think about what’s happening in your classroom that you could do that with.

Unknown Student:
We’ve been doing water supply as in fresh water this term and then we’re into the sea next term. So yeah, and different types of water formation where water comes from.

Unknown Student: Building that vocab into it, aye? So maybe pictures of the classroom objects, so we’ve learnt how to label them all, so we could move on to the "E hia", how many?

Unknown Student:
In my class, for year 9 ... using objects around the classroom because that was our topic, was the classroom so "E hia ngā pene?" "He aha tēnā?"

Absolutely authentic and wonderful when you hear them doing it when it isn’t an exercise. Ka pai.

Unknown Student:
We thought we could do it for tangata rongonui and maybe using ko wai as at a starter and then you could maybe develop that into "He aha tōna tūranga?" What is their position?.

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