Time for some Afrikaans fun with Woema!

Woema: Afrikaans First Additional Language Textbook and
Workbook: Grade 5 is part of
the latest series from Pikkie Publikasies.

It’s always refreshing to see language textbooks enhanced by colourful pictures as is the case with this learning tool. It makes the whole project – mastering new vocabulary and unfamiliar grammatical structures, for example – seem somehow less daunting.
The Woema book is divide into modules comprising six sections: new words; comprehension; language; time for fun; talk and read and finally, write. Each module has a different theme.
The first of these is “I like…” (“Ek hou van…”). That’s a title bound to set heads and hearts at ease and a clever move on the part of authors Cecile Smith and Kara Smith. After all, don’t we all like talking about our favourite things?
The vocabulary section lists translations from apricot to winter with a rich variety in between. Not too few, and not too many, is the sensible rule here. These new words will help the learner cement fluency foundations that will eventually result in confident conversations in Afrikaans. Little stick figured sidebars have also been placed to reassure the student.
In the second section, Thomas, Refentse, David and Karin ‘speak’ out about their enjoyment of various sports: tennis, swimming and bicycle riding. If the learners in your class don’t fancy these activities, they’ll soon be able to vocalise that in Afrikaans and to proffer alternatives. As Karin says: “Ek swem nie. Die water is te koud. Dit laat my bewe!” (“I don’t swim. The water is too cold. It makes me shiver!”)
There’s some comprehension attached to this new knowledge. Students can familiarise themselves with simple interrogative pronouns and interrogative adverbs before writing the answers to questions about Thomas and co directly into their workbooks.
In the fourth section, your pupils will engage with an advertisement for a zoo. Of course, this activity could be very well matched with a visit to an actual zoo near you, or an online equivalent. Once you’ve helped them amass even more new vocabulary, they’ll sail through the multiple choice comprehension activity and an imaginative exercise that asks them which animal they’d like to be, an owl, a jackal or a zebra and why. Here’s the opportunity to get children into an open classroom space, mimicking the behaviour of these animals and letting free play subtly enhance language skills.
The third section which deals with grammar and other language skills is so inventive and colourful that children won’t even notice that they’re into the serious stuff. They’ll practise sound patterns, look at a poem and complete a crossword, along with heaps of other fun stuff.
In section four, everyone can relax a little and consolidate their learning by building new words. What a clever way to boost a child’s confidence!
Section five will have everyone trying their hand at some
conversation, alone, with a friend and in groups. The trick is to anchor children back to the many things they’ve learnt so far in this module and to encourage the use of this knowledge.
In the final section, students will have the courage to try out a written dialogue. This could be the springboard once again, for bringing other subjects into the classroom: drama, art, music, history and the sciences.
After all, language helps us expand our communities and learn more about the world.

Category: Winter 2019

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