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Pikkie Publikasies wows again with another new title

| August 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Title: Woema Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele Taal: Teksboek en Werkboek
Authors: Cecile Smith and Kara Smith
Publisher: Pikkie Publikasies
ISBN: 9780994716804
Reviewed by: Fiona de Villiers

Pikkie Publikasies’ new title in the Woema series is Woema Afrikaans Eerste Addisionele Taal: Teksboek en Werkboek Graad 6.

Once again the publisher has excelled: this new workbook/textbook will undoubtedly help those Grade 6 students faced with the challenge of mastering Afrikaans as a first additional language. I always think it’s comforting to have a textbook double up as the place where a student fills in their answers and thereby demonstrates their learning. Once the examination is on the horizon, everything a student needs is right there in one place. Authors Cecile Smith and Kara Smith clearly know just how enormous a job it is to produce a successful textbook (this one has 186 pages!) that is appropriately geared to a specific readership. They have provided six modules, each on a refreshingly interesting topic. Grade 6 students can acquire all sorts of skills and practise Afrikaans alone and in groups in a variety of contexts. Module 1 is all about ants, which doesn’t sound too difficult! A valuable list of new words can be added to each student’s vocabulary arsenal and used in conversation. The words will also prove handy when the student tackles the comprehension, based on Aesop’s fable about the grasshopper and the ant. This page is a good example of how to match solidly good design with content. The piece is not too long and therefore not too daunting. It’s well spaced and a central image is a cheerful reminder of the content. The questions that follow the story are neither too many nor too complex, and English words that may help along the way are cleverly inserted. To refresh their thinking, students can then whizz through the spelling exercise at the end. Students must then turn their attention to an Afrikaans advertisement about products that will rid the home of pesky ants. Even at a Grade 6 level, questions about this advert will encourage them to think about the persuasive power of advertising. Should this be a group exercise, students can remind each other of the need to use full sentences in the spaces provided – an important skill to acquire when studying any language. They can also have fun with conversing about the quick question at the end of the exercise. Smith and Smith then invite children to get down to the serious stuff: grammar. The pages are colourful and lots of help is provided. They’ll learn about word order (full sentence again, please!), different kinds of sentences (question, statements, etc.), and, even more importantly, how different kinds of words sound in Afrikaans when they are properly produced. I think here again of groupwork. Listening to a friend pronouncing words is much less scary than having to do it all by yourself, or in front of the whole class. Several exercises based on speaking Afrikaans within the context of the module’s theme will really help to embed the specific sounds in students’ memories. The colourful ants provided here and there will also build self-esteem with their cheerful comments. Nouns, spelling and some revision (days of the week, for example) come next, followed by two short comprehensions to consolidate all the knowledge and skills learned in the module, which ends with some fun: the chance to draw a picture based on an Afrikaans idiom. I applaud everyone at Pikkie Publikasies who was involved in the production of this book. They’ve allowed students the chance to speak the language as well as to master its finer grammatical details.

Category: Winter 2018

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