A Journey into the Teaching Experience

A site maintained by teachers for teachers

Bilingual Education

In case of the Maltese Educational system, being bilingual means teaching students with both the Maltese and English language, switching code when necessary in order to make sure that students understood better. You have to act accordingly to the students. If they know English really well, then it is better because you can use only one language in class, which is the language which the exam will be in. But you’ll find students who they find it difficult to understand and talk in English, therefore I think it is important that you code switch for the sake of those students.

As it is a computer science lesson, I think it makes more sense that even if you are explaining in Maltese, you leave the technical terms in English like for example modem and central processing unit because this will mix them up. The first explanation should always be in English because after all the exam is going to be in English. Then, seeing what they have understood or not, re explain in Maltese.  You will find students who do bad in a subject not because they do not know the subject but because they do not know the English language. Moreover, they will normally know the answer of a question but they do not know how to express it in English . Therefore by explaining in Maltese, at least they have understood the concepts.


2 comments on “Bilingual Education

  1. maria_8
    December 2, 2013

    Almost every teacher I observed first explains in English and further explanation is done in Maltese which confirms what you said. It really does help the students to understand better when the teachers explain something in their mother-tongue language. In my opinion, this also helps the students to remember more what has been said.
    However, if the subject is not examined in the same language as the mother-tongue language like Computer Studies, Mathematics, Physics and many other subjects in the Maltese secondary schools, then it’s useless only explaining things in Maltese. Like this students will have difficulty in expressing something later on because they have to use English and not Maltese. Teachers have to interchangeably use both languages. Thus, this is why bilingualism in teaching is so important.

  2. sarah1294
    December 4, 2013

    I agree with what you said. I personally believe that the teacher should use both languages in class. If you have foreign students then it is a must to speak in English, however, there are some students who unfortunately do not understand everything in English so the teacher must explain in Maltese as well. Being bilingual have several benefits, especially when the students graduate and find jobs abroad. It will be easier for them to build up a conversation with foreigners and have wider range if opportunities in their lives. There are many other advantages, in fact below I attached a YouTube video stating some very interesting facts:

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This entry was posted on November 28, 2013 by in education.
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