Volume 29, No.4 - Winter 1983
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1983 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.

Marija Danguolė Tamulionytė. Lietuvių kalbos pratimai.

Pritaikyti vadovėliui Lietuviais norime ir būt. Iliustracijos Nijolės Palubinskienės. JAV Lietuvių Bendruomenės Švietimo Taryba, Chicago, 1982. 236 pages. Large format. Paperback. (Marija Danguolė Tamulionis. Workbook for the Lithuanian Language. To be used in connection with the textbook Lietuviais norime ir būt. Illustrated by Nijolė Palubinskas. Lithuanian Educational Council, Chicago, 1982).

Like the textbook reviewed above, this workbook contains various exercises for all 30 chapters, or units, of the textbook. Basically, each chapter, on the average, has from 4 to 7 pages of exercises using the grammar patterns and the vocabulary of the corresponding chapter in the main textbook.

The most frequent types of exercises are the same as the American and Canadian children use in their respective schools, i.e., the fill-in type, or, in many cases, the completion-type. Since both the main textbook (see the review above) and this workbook are intended for young children, the exercises, on each individual page, are of the same type: children are supposed to learn to do them by repeated analogy. Let us take, for example, pp. 17-18 of the workbook. It will teach the children how to use the appropriate and correct forms of the Lithuanian verb dirbti 'to work'. First, a sample of the pattern is given:

Kunigas dirba bažnyčioje.

In the workbook itself, the words 'Kunigas' and 'bažnyčioje' are printed, or, rather, produced from a typewritten page. The word dirba is written in by hand, one letter for one dash. Then the exercises begin:

1. Daktaras .......... ligoninėje, (in the hospital) The child is now supposed to write in the same form of the verb dirbti, namely dirba, as in the given sample, etc. In many instances, instead of writing out the word, or words, there are illustrations depicting the object, or objects, as the case may require.

Generally speaking, it is a very good arrangement, and I think the children will find this workbook quite attractive and useful. It will also make the teaching process much simpler for the teachers since they will not have to worry about additional exercises. And that is always a rather difficult enterprise, particularly if the teacher himself/herself is not experienced.

All the basic grammatical exercises do cover quite thoroughly the material given in the textbook. And all the phrases and sentences used deal with the very simple matters of everyday life of the children. There are no exercises at all for the historical and cultural part of the textbook which, as it was noticed in the review above, is in English.

I would like to say it again that this is a very good workbook, but, on the other hand, one can always find some minor features which might have been, at least in our opinion, done differently.

In the first place, if the class using this workbook is small, the teacher can easily check every exercise right in class. But if one had a rather large class, it would be impossible to do the checking right in class. And we know from a long experience that such exercises, no matter how simple they appear to the teacher, have to be checked, corrected and explained, in case of recurring mistakes on the part of the pupils. Otherwise most children will not try their best to do the exercises seriously. Because of the rather large and bulky format of the workbook it would be almost impossible to collect a large number of them. And, I suppose, the author did not intend the separate pages to be torn out since there are no perforations near the back of the book. (Most of the high school and college workbooks of this type do have such perforations).

In several places of this workbook, there are exercises with the verb mylėti 'to love; to be in love'. Take, for example, pages 30-31 (Chapter 7) where the children are supposed to complete such sentences as: Ar tu myli pieną?, or Ji myli kiaušinį. Now, I am sure the author intended the first sentence to mean: "Do you like milk?", and "She likes the egg", but the trouble is, strictly speaking that the first sentence really means: "Do you love milk?", or even: "Are you in love with milk?" And the second sentence really means: "She loves the egg", or even: "She is in love with the egg". It is really a minor matter but it would have been better to use some other object. It is true, in the USA, many Lithuanians do, indeed, use mylėti 'to love; to be in love' instead of mėgti 'to like', clearly, under the influence of English. Mėgti 'to like', is slightly irregular in its present tense, and that may be the reason why Dr. Tamulionis did not want to use it.

One of the most difficult problems in Lithuanian is the spelling and the inflection of non-Lithuanian foreign names. (Cf. the article on the new Lithuanian spelling reform, in this issue of Lituanus). In this workbook, here and there, one runs into such locatives as Clevelande, New Yorke, but, on the other hand, also such locatives as Ohio, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, etc. Really, that is how practically these names are mostly used in the Lithuanian newspapers in the USA and Canada. It is possible that the author simply took the practical approach. One cannot blame her for this. Again, it is a very fine workbook.

The University of Rochester