Tohutō (macrons) are the lines you see above vowels in te reo Māori. Macrons are important for the correct elongated pronunciation of the vowel and if they are not used correctly, or at all, may alter the meaning of the word.
These CORE Education podcasts from Nichole Gully and Te Mihinga Komene discusses the use and importance of tohutō. Some key points from the podcasts include:
- to make the reading of te reo Māori much easier
- it is not good practice to mix tohutō and the use of double vowels – it affects the grades given in external examinations of te reo Māori
- cross referencing dictionaries to get the accurate placement of tohutō
As mentioned in the podcasts, the importance of consistency of tohutō in relation to Ministry of Education guidelines around tohutō and the direct link to te reo Māori assessment, it is important for schools and learners to be prepared for this. As digital technologies are used more often in classrooms and external examinations, are your devices enabled for tohutō?
2020 Digital Technologies in Schools surveys
The 2020 Digital Technologies (ICT) in Schools Report presented findings and information from surveys about the use of digital technologies in schools. Participating principals were asked if the software in their schools supported the use of tohutō in te reo Māori. 47% of principals said that their school’s software supported tohutō use.
When I reflect on the podcasts and this report, a few questions come to mind:
- What standard are we trying to set?
- How do we support schools and learners to enable macrons on their devices?
Adding tohutō to devices
Here is how to add a tohutō on a range of devices.
Irrespective of what devices you use, it is important to be able to use tohutō to accurately represent the written use of te reo Māori, because it is part of the digital citizenship and literacy of all learners in Aotearoa respecting the indigenous reo of our country.