The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

Maltese language taught in universities in Germany and China - Minister Evarist Bartolo

Helena Grech Tuesday, 8 November 2016, 18:58 Last update: about 5 years ago

Education and Employment Minister Evarist Bartolo said that a university in Bremen, Germany and a prestigious foreign languages university in Beijing, China are both teaching Maltese as a foreign language.

He said this tonight in parliament during a discussion to amend the laws surrounding the Maltese language and the way it is taught in schools.

Mr Bartolo said that Maltese should be proud of its language, adding that it is a big part of the country’s identity.

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He called for the strengthening and updating of the ways in which the Maltese language is taught both verbally and written.

“I wish that the Maltese Language Council assists us in our efforts, we have developed Maltese teaching programmes for those who speak Maltese at home and for those foreign nationals residing in Malta.

Turning to those Maltese who speak English as their first language at home, Mr Bartolo called for revitalised efforts for these students:

“We must strengthen the teaching of Maltese for those children who speak English as a first language at home. We need to teach Maltese as an additional language for these children, not as a foreign or second language. I believe in retaining the need for having their Maltese O-level in order to get into University of Malta.

“If we drop this requirement, we will kill the language. At the same time, Maltese people who speak English at home need a programme adapted to them in order to help them pass their Maltese O-levels. I do not wish into the baseless arguments that Maltese who speak English are snobs (pepe) because it is pointless. We are a bilingual country and it is what it is, which is why we need to launch a programme adapted to them.”

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