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New Te Reo Maori app targets total beginners

16 Feb 2015

Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Education has released its second Te Reo Maori learning app, Puna.

Puna is available now for free through the App Store and Google Play.

The first app in the series, Kura, was developed for people with some level of proficiency in the language, however Puna was designed for children or those beginning to learn Māori.

The app was developed by staff from Te Kura Māori, which carries out teaching and research related to Māori education, policy, and practice.

Currently Puna is only available all in Te Reo, however there are plans for an English translation.

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,” says McKenzie.

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

Words can be written out on screen in a variety of colours and fonts. There are also notes for teachers and parents with audio samples of sentences in which the vocabulary can be used.

The app also involves games. There are a number of options for scoring and playing and users have the option of choosing a one or two player game or competing against the smartphone software.

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

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