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Storybook 1 Takalo Lakapī Faka-Niu Hila


These teacher support materials accompany the six storybooks developed especially to support the Learning Languages Series resource Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau. Each story gives students opportunities to extend their language and cultural knowledge and to practise reading the target language of specific units in Muakiga!

These teacher support materials suggest how teachers can use the six storybooks to foster gagana Tokelau learning at levels 1 and 2, particularly in the context of the Muakiga! programme.

The teaching-as-inquiry cycle and the Newton et al. research [1] on intercultural communicative language teaching underpin these teacher support materials. See:

  • the effective pedagogy section on page 35 of The New Zealand CurriculumThe teaching-as-inquiry cycle and the Newton et al. research on intercultural communicative language teaching underpin these teacher support materials.
  • the Newton et al paper.

Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau

Muakiga! is a resource in the Learning Languages Series. It provides a language-teaching programme that can be used by teachers, including those who do not speak gagana Tokelau or know how to teach languages. Muakiga! includes:

  • twenty units of three lessons each
  • a range of language suitable for years 7–10 at levels 1 and 2 of the curriculum
  • video and audio support to engage learners and demonstrate how fluent speakers use the language
  • lesson plans that could be linked to opportunities for learners to enjoy reading gagana Tokelau texts.

You can find Muakiga! online here.

Engaging students with texts

The teacher’s role is to mediate the interactions between the student and the learning materials and enable the student to meet their learning outcomes.

Takalo Lakapī Faka-Niu Hila

by Mehepa Atoni Gaualofa

This story supports Unit 5: Tākaloga (Sports and Games) in Muakiga!

Learning goals

Encourage your students to set one or more of the following learning goals for their work with this storybook. The learning activities support these goals.

I will use gagana Tokelau to:

  • read the story and understand it
  • read the story aloud with clear pronunciation and reasonable fluency
  • recognise and use some words and expressions in different contexts
  • write texts with macrons and correct spelling
  • talk or write about the story.

I will use English to:

  • understand the story when it is read aloud
  • talk about the content of the written and visual texts
  • give examples of how Tokelau language and culture are organised in particular ways
  • make connections with the language(s) and culture(s) I know
  • research and present information about Tokelau culture and values in the story
  • make connections with my learning in Unit 5 of Muakiga!

Language and Cultural Knowledge strands

The Language and Cultural Knowledge strands at levels 1 and 2 of Learning Languages in The New Zealand Curriculum require students to:

  • recognise that the target language and culture are organised in particular ways
  • make connections with known languages and cultures.

The language and cultural features of the written and visual texts in the storybook are described here.

(a) Language Knowledge

The language features of the written texts include:

  • the choice not to use the word motu (island), and to use the word fenua (land), which reinforces the emotional attachment of the people to the land, and their ownership of it. Fenua is frequently used in written texts with the meaning of “country” or “nation”.
  • phrases to express location, for example, i te fenua ko Ātafu i Tokelau / on the island of Ātafu in Tokelau; i lotofale / inside the house
  • phrases to express time, for example, i te taimi nei / now; i tē tahi tāeao / one morning (tē tahi because the reference is to time not people)
  • formulaic expressions, for example, io lā / OK; ma au foki / same as me; Ke manuia tō ahō. / Have a nice day.
  • different verb forms, for example, takalo / play (singular) and tākakalo / play (plural)
  • words of special cultural significance, for example, malae lakapī / rugby field, where malae has the meaning of an open space for recreation of a particular kind. In te reo Māori, however, the term marae is restricted to a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes for the people who belong there.
  • descriptions, for example, Te fuaefa o le malae lakapī. / The rugby field is huge.; Nae matafakanoanoa ki lāua. / They looked sad.

(b) Cultural Knowledge

The cultural features of the written and visual texts include:

  • reference to Ātafu as one of the three atolls that constitute Tokelau. The others are Nukunonu and Fakaofo. See Unit 1, Muakiga! for more information on Tokelau.
  • the movement of people between Tokelau and New Zealand. Many settle in New Zealand permanently. Toni lives with his grandparents on Ātafu before joining his parents in New Zealand to continue his education. His grandparents come to New Zealand to visit family after Toni has settled in his new school.
  • the value of fakaaloalo (respect). The story shows the cultural practice of Toni being raised by his grandparents. The oldest child may be given to their grandparents to raise as an expression of love and respect for their wisdom and knowledge. This story shows the important role that grandparents have in their grandchildren’s lives.
  • the values of fakaaloalo (respect) and alofa (compassion) seen in the special relationship that Toni has with his grandfather as the eldest grandson. The metaphor of the tokotoko (walking stick) portrays the grandfather’s dependence on his eldest grandson. It explains the grandfather’s sadness when Toni leaves for New Zealand and his joy at seeing Toni succeed at his new school.
  • reference to the Lalo Pua, which literally means“Under the Pua”. The pua is the biggest tree on Ātafu. This place is culturally and socially significant to the local people as a traditional meeting place for men. They gather there to carve or to chat, sharing their knowledge about such things as carving, fishing, and politics.
  • illustrations that compare styles of housing in Tokelau and in New Zealand. Tokelau houses have communal living areas where there is little privacy. The shower or bathing area is outside and may be in public view. The houses are traditionally a single cell area, with a space for cooking and another space where the family sits in the daytime and sleeps at night-time. Some houses may have smaller rooms for sleeping.
  • a comparison between how rugby is played in Tokelau and in New Zealand. In Tokelau, rugby is commonly played barefoot, with any kind of ball, on an unmarked field that has a pebbled, stony, or coral surface. There are no seats or stands for spectators and the field is smaller than rugby fields in New Zealand.

Communication strand

Students learn to apply their language and cultural knowledge in different contexts and situations to communicate effectively for a range of purposes. As they become more effective communicators, students develop the receptive skills of listening, reading, and viewing and the productive skills of speaking, writing, and presenting or performing. These are summarised on the Learning Languages wall chart.

(a) The New Zealand Curriculum

The achievement objectives in learning languages, levels 1 and 2 are generic.

In selected linguistic and socio-cultural contexts students will:

  • receive and produce information
  • produce and respond to questions and requests
  • show social awareness when interacting with others.

(b) Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines

These guidelines offer achievement objectives that are more specific. You could use any of the following level 1 achievement objectives to narrow the focus for your students to help them achieve particular competencies.

In selected linguistic and socio-cultural contexts students will:

  • give and respond to greetings, farewells, and introductions (1.1)
  • give and respond to personal information (1.2)
  • recognise and express number, time, and location (1.4)
  • recognise and express size and colour (1.5).

(c) Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau

The Unit 5 learning outcomes for students are sharply focused. Students will:

  • identify some sports and games
  • communicate about the sports they play
  • talk about the sports their family members play
  • ask about and discuss sports preferences.

Cross-curricular links

Learners who are working at levels 1 and 2 in gagana Tokelau will be working at higher curriculum levels in other learning areas. Here are two examples of cross-curricular achievement objectives that could be linked to this story when you are planning links across curriculum learning areas.

Technology Level 3 (Nature of Technology)

Students will:

  • understand how society and environments impact on and are influenced by technology in historical and contemporary contexts and that technological knowledge is validated by successful function.

Social Sciences, Level 3

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • understand how people view and use places differently.


The story illustrates the values of:

  • community and participation for the common good
  • respect for themselves and others.

See page 10 in The New Zealand Curriculum.

In addition, students will come to appreciate how the story reflects core Tokelau values of fakaaloalo (respect), māopoopo (inclusion), and vā feāloaki (relating to others). See pages 8–9 in Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines.

[1] Newton, J., Yates, E., Shearn, S., and Nowitzki, W. (2009). Intercultural Communicative Language Teaching: Implications for Effective Teaching and Learning. Wellington: Ministry of Education.