Tuhinga Māhorahora Project – analysing children`s writing in Māori

Dean of Postgraduate Research
Vice-Chancellor’s Office
Extension: 7285
[email protected]
Summer Research Scholarship Scheme
Project Application Form
Please complete and submit the application form as a WORD document and send to
[email protected]
The Project
Title of Project (max 30 words):
Tuhinga Māhorahora Project – analysing children’s writing in Māori
Project Leader(s):
Jeanette King
Host Department/Organization:
Other persons involved in this topic/activity:
(List other significant members involved along with their affiliation to the research project.)
Affiliation to project
William O’Grady
International co-ordinator, University of Hawaii
Other summer scholar working on the Comparative Language Input Project
Brief outline of project
Describe the proposed research project – maximum of 400 words (box will expand as you type).
Note that this information will be published on the web in order to attract student applicants and therefore be
mindful of any Intellectual Property issues
We know very little about how tamariki are using te reo Māori in immersion schooling situations.
This has a massive range of consequences for teaching: from supporting learning in individual
classrooms through to the nationwide production of appropriate written material for use in kura. The
Tuhinga Māhorahora project is building a corpus of children’s writing in Māori to answer the
following research questions: How do our tamariki use te reo Māori? How does their use of Māori
develop over time? How can we support and improve the use of Māori by teachers in classrooms?
The Tuhinga Māhorahora project is addressing these important research questions by collecting
samples of children’s written Māori from participating immersion schools. Nearly 1,000 pieces of
writing from 76 children in Year 1-5 kura classrooms have been transcribed and tagged using the
TEI editor Oxygen. These files have been uploaded to the New Zealand Institute of Language,
Brain and Behaviour’s (NZILBB) web-based LaBB-CAT software.
The summer scholar will work in LaBB-CAT to establish and conduct a number of analyses on the
dataset, including: word counts, standardised type/token ratio analyses. Another analysis will be to
determine the number of words the children use from already determined frequency lists (Brown,
2009). The power of the LaBB-CAT software will also allow for analyses over the time range,
between genders and between children of the same age, for example. The scholar will also work
with a summer scholar on an allied project (the Comparative Language Input Project (CLIP)) where
the speech of teachers in Māori immersion classrooms is being transcribed and uploaded into LaBBCAT. The analyses determined for the Tuhinga Māhorahora project will also be applied to the CLIP
data and the scholar will assist in training the other scholar in this task.
The summer scholar will also be involved in writing up analysis protocols and helping to prepare
the results to give feedback to the classes and teachers involved.
If the project involves work away from the University campus (e.g., at fieldwork sites) please detail all locations.
If the student be required to work outside of normal university hours (8am-5pm) please provide details
Benefits student will gain from involvement in the project
Describe the research experience and skills that the student will acquire through involvement in this research project –
maximum of 100 words.
You will also become a highly familiar and competent in working with LaBB-CAT software in performing
linguistic analysis of writing and speech. You will gain experience in making decisions about data analysis
and in working as part of a team. You will also gain experience in the writing up of research results to give
feedback to schools and teachers.
Specific student requirements
Please provide details of all requirements you have for the student to work on this project – for example, if specific
courses/experience are necessary.
The student must be a competent Māori language comprehension skills (i.e. you will have studied Māori to
300 level at least). Familiarity with LaBB-CAT software is an advantage, but not essential. It would be
expected that you have an interest in Māori language and/or the Māori immersion schooling environment.