Maori language app for beginners released

SND12-wk3-Lamguage App 300x225Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Education has released its second te reo Māori learning app, Puna, which is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

The app, developed by staff from Te Kura Māori, which carries out teaching and research related to Māori education, policy, and practice, is 
a tool for children or those beginning to learn Māori. The first app, Kura, was developed for people with some level of proficiency in the language.

Dr Tabitha McKenzie, a lecturer from Te Kura Māori, says what sets Puna apart from other Māori learning apps on the market is that it can be tailored by the user.

“There are five modules of study and the learner can tailor each one with the choice of words, flash cards and voice.”

The words can be grouped into categories of food, living things, body, home, school, places, things that move, marae, clothes, actions and time.

Puna is currently all in te reo; however, there are plans for an English translation.
Words can be written out on screen using a finger, with a choice of colour and font.
 A game can be selected with a number of options for scoring and playing – either one or two players, or competing against the smartphone software.

There are also notes for teachers and parents with audio samples of sentences in which the vocabulary can be used.

“Puna is an educational, fun and challenging way to learn te reo Māori. Users say it makes them want to learn,” Dr McKenzie says.

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