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Storybook 3 Ko he Pehe Mālie


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:

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.

Ko he Pehe Mālie!

by Aloihio Kave Kelemete

This story supports Unit 9: Ko He ā te Kua Tupu? (What’s the Matter?) 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 9 of Muakiga!

Language and Cultural Knowledge strands

The Language and Cultural Knowledge strands at levels 1 and 2 of Learning Languages in TheNew 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:

  • different verb forms, for example, fano / go (singular) and olo / go (plural); hau / come (singlar) and ōmamai / come (plural). Note that ōmai is an alternative plural form for ōmamai.
  • use of to make negative statements, for example, Kua hē ia mafaia oi takalo lakapī. / He couldn’t play rugby.; … auā ko ia e hē hiva / … because he wasn’t dancing
  • words transliterated from English, for example, Māti / March; lakapī / rugby; koniheti / concert; kītala / guitar; nofoa / sofa
  • formulaic expressions, for example, Ko he ā te aho tēnei? / What date is it today?; Io, e hako. / Yeah, that’s right.; Manuia te pō! / Have a good time! [this evening]; Tōfā, koutou. / Bye, everyone.
  • time expressions, for example, Aho Tōnai / Saturday; Ko te aho tolu o Māti. / It’s the third of March.; I te pō o te Aho Tōnai / On Saturday evening
  • vocabulary and expressions associated with feelings, for example, fakanoanoa / sad; fītā / tired; fiu / bored; E pū! / How awful!; Oi auēkē, toku vae! / Ouch, my leg!; hāloa taku tama / my poor son
  • vocabulary to express relationships, for example, tona tuagane / her brother; tona mātua tupuna / his [or her] grandmother; tona kāiga / his [or her] family
  • different forms of pronouns to give precise meaning, for example, ki māua / us (dual); tātou / us (inclusive: all of you and me); koe / you (singular); koutou / you (plural, three or more)
  • words with cognates in other languages, for example, fakalogologo / listen (compare with whakarongo (listen) in te reo Māori); patipati / clap (compare with patipati (clap) in te reo Māori and gagana Sāmoa)
  • 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.

(b) Cultural Knowledge

The cultural features of the written and visual texts include:

  • the movement of people between Tokelau and New Zealand. Many settle in New Zealand permanently, and organise events where Tokelau people can meet and share their own culture. The Tokelau Easter Tournament is an example of this. This tournament takes place every two years in some part of New Zealand. Groups come from other countries to participate in the competitions, which include sporting events, as well as musical and dance events.
  • the word māopoopo, which expresses the value of everyone being involved and included in the Tournament in different ways. Refer to page 9 of Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines for more explanation of this value. The word māfutaga (tournament) also expresses the idea of inclusion through its meaning of “gathering” or “fellowship”. The Easter Tournament is a time of inclusion and involvement for Tokelau people in New Zealand.
  • different words for Easter, because of different missionary influences. Ēheta is the Protestant term for Easter. Catholics use the terms Pāheka or Pāhikate, which is a transliteration of the English word “Paschal”.
  • ways of addressing parents or grandparents. For example, Nena and Mātua Tupuna are equivalent to “Nana”, “Grandma”, and “Grandmother”, which are common ways of addressing one’s grandmother in English. In agānuku Tokelau, it is also common for people to address their grandparents by their first names. 
  • the use of “wh” in spelling the name Whotovalu. This spelling is associated with the island of Nukunonu, where some people still use “wh” instead of “f”, and occasionally use “wh” in handwritten text and email, for example, writing alowha for alofa. The writer of this story comes from Nukunonu and the name Whotovalu is associated with his family. Using the “wh” spelling in the name in this story instead of “f” shows respect. The other words in the story follow the gagana Tokelau alphabet in use since 1974. See pages 13–14 in Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines for more information about spelling and the decision made in 1974 about the alphabet.

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:

  • recognise and express number, time, and location (1.4)
  • express and respond to desires, needs, and preferences (1.7)
  • use language, positioning, and movement to show respect (1.8).

(c) Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau

The Unit 9 learning outcomes for students are sharply focused. Students will:

  • express their desires, needs, and preferences
  • respond to the desires, needs, and preferences of others
  • express agreement and disagreement.

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 three examples of cross-curricular achievement objectives that could be linked to this story when you are planning links across curriculum learning areas.

The Arts, Level 3


Students will:

  • explore and describe dances from a variety of cultures
  • prepare and share dance movement individually and in pairs or groups.


Students will:

  • identify and describe the characteristics of music associated with a range of sound environments, in relation to historical, social, and cultural contexts.

Social Sciences, Level 3

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • understand how the movement of people affects cultural diversity and interaction in New Zealand.


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.