9 results for Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola

  • What is a Pasifika research methodology? The 'tupua' in the winds of change

    Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    When Pasifika researchers in New Zealand embark on a research project, two questions come to mind. The first question is, what perspective should one take for the project? Second, how does one apply that perspective to the project? This paper describes the perspective of a Samoan researcher while contemplating undertaking a research project. Having settled initially on the viewpoint the research will take, the paper describes how this perspective is then applied to the research process. The paper argues that using a methodology that is responsive and culturally appropriate to a Pasifika audience can yield good outcomes for future directions. In addition, the employment of such a methodology can illustrate the richness of things Pasifika that other people can look upon as relevant and ethnic specific thus dispelling the myth that only Western methods are valid and reliable.

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  • Ua malie toa ua malie tau = student with silver tongues whip the tail: enhanced teaching and learning of reading comprehension in Samoan bilingual classes

    Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola (2005)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    The achievement of Samoan students in English reading comprehension has been identified as a major challenge for the education in New Zealand. This study examined the effectiveness of reading comprehension instruction in the context of six Samoan bilingual classrooms in two schools in South Auckland. The quasi-experimental intervention involved two phases over three years. One was the development of an inter-school standardised process of administering and scoring assessments to identify student weaknesses and strengths. The other involved 10 professional development sessions over the year built around the profiles of teaching and learning collected in the first year. Systematic observations of teacher instruction were carried out in both phases. In addition to the English reading comprehension measures, there were specially designed assessments of students’ oral language and reading comprehension in Samoan. These assessements enabled relationships to be examined between students’ Samoan oral language and reading comprehension and their English achievement. In addition, teachers were interviewed about their ideas of reading comprehension from a cultural perspective. Three approaches were used to judge the effectiveness of teaching. These showed that teaching became more effective generally when examined for students in a longitudinal cohort, but also for new cohorts in Year 1 and Year 2. In addition, the results showed that students in the bilingual classrooms had initially lower levels in reading comprehension in English but made more rapid gains with the intervention and reached comparable levels earlier. These gains are linked to specific changes in the teachers’ instruction. Analyses showed that the focus of instruction, for example, instruction which increased general awareness was prominent in raising reading comprehension levels. Three teachers who attended professional development consistently showed more gains at the end of the study than the other three teachers who inconsistently attended. However, despite the gains achievement of bilingual students were still below national norms. At a general level, no relationships were found between Samoan oral language and reading comprehension and English reading comprehension but the presence of relationships between Samoan reading comprehension and English reading comprehension and between Samoan reading comprehension and English reading comprehension vocabulary at year 6 suggests a transitional effect particularly at the level of word knowledge. This effect might explain the lagging behind of achievement in English from year 4 and year 5 and a catching up at year 6. Teachers’ placing more emphasis on vocabulary instruction evidenced in the observations suggests that this is an urgent need. While there was great variability in reading comprehension instruction, teacher ideas also add to the complexity given teachers’ understanding of what comprehension is from the Samoan concepts of ‘iloa’ (know) and ‘malamalama’ (understand). Teachers differed in their understanding of these two terms. These findings suggest that low achievement in English reading comprehension can be changed, but there is more research that needs to be done to expand our knowledge of how Pasifika students in schools comprehend English texts but specifically how they should be taught.

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  • Family literacy activities: What is, what ought to be, and the role of parents' ideas

    McNaughton, Stuart; Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola; Wolfgramm-Foliaki, E (2009)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Examining Samoan language development in Samoan bilingual students' understanding of texts in English

    Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola; McNaughton, S; Lai, Mei (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    This paper examines language development of Samoan students in bilingual contexts in Aotearoa, New Zealand. In the absence of valid and standardized assessments tools in Samoan, one was designed to test reading comprehension and oral language development for Samoan students using common narratives as a base. For reading comprehension, the tool used a listening comprehension format to avoid possible decoding limitations and provided a gradient of difficulty with a surprising drop in both oral and reading comprehension at year 7. This drop was attributed to a change in competencies of some students entering the bilingual classroom at year 7. For example, the mixed levels of both L1 (Samoan) oral and L1 (Samoan) reading comprehension within and across years of schooling likely reflects the varied provision in the Samoan bilingual classes and the variations across cohorts in different degrees of bilingualism. We argue that this might be due to the make up of the two schools of which one was an Intermediate school of years 7 and 8 students and, the other was a full primary school with students from years 4 to 8. The patterns suggest two general instructional needs in Samoan bilingual classrooms. One is the need to develop metacognitive components and the need for deliberate and explicit instruction to build awareness of strategies and effectiveness. The other is the ubiquitous need identified in reading comprehension instruction generally to develop vocabulary both through oral and written forms. There was a highly significant relationship between L1 oral at L1 reading comprehension levels reflecting a general relationship found in other studies of monolingual in L2 (English) contexts.

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  • Reading Comprehension in English for Samoan Bilingual Students in Samoan Classes

    Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola; McNaughton, S; Lai, Mei (2008)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    ABSTRA CT: This article plots patterns of reading comprehension in a group of Samoan students in bilingual classrooms in New Zealand; a group we know very little about in terms of patterns of development and learning in the middle to upper primary school years in either English (L2) or Samoan (L1). We found that for Samoan bilingual students there is an achievement lag from Years 4 and 5 which is reversed at Year 6} and evidence for progressing above their mainstream counterparts at Years 7 and 8. We argue that this developmental pattern in L2 for students in a bilingual context might be due to the simultaneous development of two languages (L1 and L2)} thus giving bilingual students different degrees of negotiation in both languages and the extent to which they understand and use both for comprehension.

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  • Biliteracy and language development in Samoan bilingual classrooms: The effects of increasing English reading comprehension

    Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola; McNaughton, Stuart; Lai, Mei (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    This paper addresses an area of international concern, the need to enhance the development in reading comprehension for English Language Learners. We report results of an intervention to raise achievement in English (L2) in Samoan bilingual classrooms for 9 to 13 year old Samoan children. The general aim was to examine patterns of biliteracy and language development exploring relationships between targeted changes in L2 and levels of language and literacy in L1 (Samoan) in this special intervention context. The intervention results in substantially increased levels of L2 reading comprehension over two years compared with English medium Samoan children and reduced the ???lag??? in gains in L2 reading comprehension in bilingual classrooms apparent in baseline measures at the beginning. As predicted here was a strong relationship between L1 oral language levels and L1 reading comprehension. But there was no relationship between L1 oral levels and L2 reading comprehension levels. However, there was a significant positive relationship between L2 reading comprehension and L1 reading comprehension. This study suggests the possibility of transfer from L2 to L1 in reading comprehension. Given the nature of the intervention it appears the possible transfer would be likely due to specific aspects of instruction in this special bilingual context.

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  • Sustained acceleration of achievement in reading comprehension: The New Zealand experience

    Lai, Mei; McNaughton, Stuart; Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola; Turner, Thomas; Hsiao, Selena (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Schools with primarily indigenous and ethnic minorities in low socioeconomic areas have long been associated with low levels of achievement, particularly in literacy. This is true for New Zealand despite high levels of reading comprehension by international comparisons (e.g., PISA). Recent reviews of schooling improvement suggest small gains over the short term are possible with well-designed interventions, but for children in the middle primary school years, the criterion against which effective interventions need to be judged is sustained and systematic acceleration across levels of achievement in order to achieve equitable distributions of achievement. Plotting gains across time is also needed to examine whether "summer effects" can be overcome. The present quasi-experimental design study was a three-year research and development collaboration among schools, government, and researchers to raise reading comprehension through critical discussions of achievement and teacher observation data and linking research on effective comprehension practices to specific needs. The collaboration resulted in increased rates of achievement that were variable but sustained across three years. The growth model showed a step-like pattern with rapid gains over school months and a plateau over summer. Over three years this represented an average achievement gain across cohorts followed longitudinally of one year's progress in addition to expected progress over that period with stanine effect sizes of d = 0.62. The results show the significance of testing effects against the criterion of sustained and systematic achievement and the need to examine growth over multiple calendar years to better represent the pattern of gains.

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  • Pasifika Education: Historical themes

    Airini; Leaupepe, M; Sauni Seiuli Luama, SLM; Tuafuti, Patisepa; Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola (2009)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Pasifika Education: Historical foundations for success

    Airini; Leaupepe, M; Sauni Seiuli Luama, SLM; Tuafuti, Patisepa; Amituanai-Toloa, Meaola (2009)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Contributed 90% to chapter on historical foundations of Pasifika education.

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