This will sound like a cliché but the joy of holding for the first time a book you worked on is indescribable. Today I received copies of the book Kellimni Let’s Talk which I co-authored with Sharon Micallef Cann. Kellimni Let’s Talk is a phrasebook for beginner learners of Maltese and English.
During the last few years, the school where I teach English, St Clare College Pembroke Secondary School, was fortunate enough to welcome many students from several countries. Sometimes, these students came to us having limited or no knowledge of Maltese or English. It was this that led us to the idea for this book.
As you can see from the picture, the cover shows a person climbing a ladder to reach a hot air balloon in order to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings with others who are already there. The language of the country one lives in is like that ladder – a tool to help one participate fully in society; it opens doors and enriches one’s life.
Within the book are words and phrases which learners would need to begin communicating in English and Maltese. We also included short dialogues to place the words and expressions in a context. Clive Gerada provided us with the artwork to illustrate the meaning of each word or expression. And everything is written in both Maltese and English. To make it easier to distinguish between the languages, we used two colours—black for Maltese and blue for English.
Moreover, as educators, we are aware of the value of the learner’s native language. In the book, we provided space to write the words, phrases and sentences in the native language. We also provided space for learners to add other words that are not included in the book.
Kellimni Let’s Talk is divided into four sections: Myself, My family, More about myself, and My school. When choosing the topics and content of the book, we referred to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Levels A1 and A2), the Learning Outcomes in the English Programme for Secondary School Learners from a Migrant Background, and the Learning Outcomes Framework for Maltese as a Foreign Language.
We hope you’ll find this book useful.
Copies are available from St Clare College Pembroke Secondary School and BDL Books.