Since mid-January 2013 the MCCV has paid for advertisements for the Maltese language classes to attract more students to learn Maltese. This drive has been in local Leader newspapers, on radio stations (e.g. one of the teachers, Mr Mark Bonello, was interviewed on the Maltese program on SBS Radio on 6 February) and church bulletins in areas where there is a contingency of Maltese families.
Research was carried out in parishes where there are Maltese priests, who were then approached with a view to having publicity about Maltese classes included in parish bulletins. This has been very successful thanks to the co-operation of the Maltese priests.
Publicity for Maltese Language Classes commenced on 14 January 2013 in local suburban papers. This publicity is sponsored by the MCCV. Mark Bonello negotiated with Leader Newspaper for a package publicity. Adverts are appearing as follows:
Week 1: Brimbank, Hobson’s Bay, Melton
Week 2: Brimbank, Whittlesea
Week 3: Brimbank, Hobson’s Bay
Week 4: Hobson’s Bay, Brimbank
Week 5: Melton, Brimbank
Week 6: Whittlesea, Brimbank
We had an immediate response of over 50 enquires who are interested in learning Maltese and had not heard about the Maltese Language classes. Enquiries are still come through.
Adverting on SBS Radio, 3ZZZ, RADIO 3 RIM 97.9 FM (Miriam Vella), Ray Anastasi STEREO 97.4 FM Community Radio, and Radio North West FM 98.9 – Emanuel Brincat and Paul Vella commenced last week. Various interviews were also recorded by Mark Bonello and Edwidge Borg.
The VSL Classes commenced Saturday 10 February 2013. The final number of students attending will be advised later on as registrations are still being accepted.
The Maltese Language Classes at Parkville started on Thursday 7 February 2013, 8 new students have sent in the registration; further new students are expected to enrol. Teachers this year will be Laura Schembri, Mark Bonello and Edwidge Borg. Georgina Scillio who has been teaching for the last 5 years has retired. The Education committee would like to thank Georgina for her remarkable dedicated service.
There are many people who do not wish to travel to Parkville for classes because it is too far away for them as they come from the western suburbs or from Mill Park. At Mill Park there is a group of about 12 people interested in learning Maltese but find it had to travel to the Maltese Centre. So if we are able to find teacher willing to travel to Mill Park, it may be possible to use the local public library as the venue for the classes as it is already used by other nationalities, such as, the Italians and Croatians, for such purposes.
There is another group of about 17 adults who are prepared to take children to the VSL at Taylors Lakes and at the same time they themselves will learn Maltese in another class. The problem is that we do not have qualified teachers at this stage. But we are doing our best to make sure that these two groups are catered for.
Maltese Language webpage
The MCCV webpage has been updated with information regarding the Adult VCE classes, new information leaflets as well as an updated registration form and other relevant information. A special thanks to Edwin Borg-Manché for uploading all the information.
A professional development morning was held for all Maltese Language teachers and the newly appointed VSL teacher aides in Victoria on Sunday 27 January 2013. The topic was on Developing a Unit of Work. Mrs Frances Bonnici was the presenter and the Convener of the workshop.
Maltese Language Teachers Association of Victoria
On 3 February 2013, the Maltese Language Teachers met in Parkville for a Planning Seminar. At that meeting the Maltese Language Teachers Association of Victoria (MLTAV) was formed. An interim committee was elected consisting of Emma Navarro as President, Mark Bonello as Treasurer, and Danica Busuttil as Secretary.
The interim committee will seek to be incorporated once a constitution is drafted. All members of this association have been heavily involved throughout the summer school break in publicising the Maltese Language Classes. Various parishes have been contacted and a notice is currently appearing in their bulletins. Publicity leaflets have been left at public libraries.
A number of fund raising activities have been planned. There will be at the school a figolla drive, an activity for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Christmas Hamper Raffles, which was a very successful activity last year.
The final number of students currently attending schools and intending to sit for VCE Maltese in 2013 from Victoria, NSW, SA and Queensland is encouraging but will not be known until sometime in late October when the students sit for the exam.
At this stage there are 11 students enrolled at HSC/VCE level for 2013: 3 students in NSW and 8 students in Victoria (4 at VSL and 4 adults). So, excluding South Australia (their number is not known until the last moment) we are still 4 students short of the minimum number of 15 VCE students which would ensure VCE Maltese would survive for a further 3 years. If we do not reach this number, this will be the last year for the Maltese language as a VCE subject. So this year will be a crucial year.
Emma Navarro has been heavily involved in preparing the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board VCAA syllabus for this year and coordinating the correspondence with adult students who had volunteered to sit for the exam. Adults who expressed interest in sitting for VCE and attending the MCCV Maltese VCE class are asked to contact Emma on 0406 215 990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP and send in the required forms.
Online VCE classes and accredited by the SACE are also being organized by the SA Maltese Language School coordinated by Mr Frank Scicluna. In NSW Mr Charles Galea from the Saturday Language School runs the VCE class.
Meeting with the Education Dept.
The Consul General Mr Charles Mifsud and Ms Edwidge Borg, as President of the Federation of Maltese Language Schools and Ms Emma Navarro, the teacher responsible for VCE students had a meeting with the Education Department. As a result of this meeting, the Education Department have agreed to allow our two teacher aids to attend at the VSL to help the teachers. This is a pilot project that has never been done before. This will be a great opportunity for these teacher aides to learn from the other teachers and gain more experience. This will hopefully ensure that in future we will have more teachers available to teach the language.
Benefit of studying VCE Maltese
It is important that we ensure that we do not deprive our children the benefit of studying a language other than English. Let us not forget that the studying for VCE Maltese is a ticket which enables students to get bonus marks added to their final VCE score for admission to tertiary education places for which competition is always increasing.