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This is a guide for the speakers of English to learn Malayalam as a second language. Malayalam is the language of Kerala, South India. The material is presented as 42 lessons with worksheets and answer key. The authors, who were language teachers in Africa and in the US for over 25 years, have made use of contemporary knowledge of linguistics and easy-to-follow and effective teaching methods. This guide may be used by all those who want to learn Malayalam, such as the children of Keralites who live abroad, and those who come to Kerala for studies and for employment.
A reviewer, kirinjin, wrote: What a concept: a language instruction book which actually understands both languages and presents both clearly and methodically. The book contains 42 (six weeks' worth) manageable lessons, each followed by a "worksheet" or mini-quiz covering the material in that day's presentation.
Another reviewer, Solimar, wrote: I think it's a very good book and it explains very well what Malayalam language is and how it can be learned. I was amazed by learning that Malayalam is easier than it might seems, the authors explain very well the difference between English and Malayalam languages, giving you the taste that it can be easily learned and actually that it's easier to learn it than English language (I'm Spanish and Italian speaker then English is my third language)
iArtichokeu wrote: When it comes to learning Malayalam, there aren't many resources to learn from in English. When I was searching for a book on Amazon, I could hardly find anything. This book however, fit what I needed. It provides tons of information and a worksheet at the end of the chapters, which is a bonus. This book will help you guide your way into Malayalam, and is one of the best starting points.
A reviewer, Frax, wrote: The authors don't provide IPA pronunciations that could help linguists, and even worse, they don't provide clear and concise explanations of pronunciation. Moreover, he makes a harsh judgment: The authors simply don't know how to teach a language.
This reviewer seems to have some basic knowledge of Linguistics, and he is probably a language teacher at the university level. This book is meant for common people who are not linguists. There are a large number of Malayalam speaking people in USA and Europe who need some learning materials for their children to gain some elementary knowledge of Malayalam. This book is primarily meant for them. As the title says, it offers only 'basic' Malayalam, by which we mean just a few baby steps. He probably bought this book expecting it to provide a detailed linguistic description of Malayalam, but unfortunately, this book is not what he thought. We can understand his frustration. We don't claim that we are the best language teachers, but many learners have found this book useful, and people are still buying this book.
In our understanding, a teacher is someone who helps a learner to learn a language. That is what we do in this book. We help the learners to take a few baby steps. We help them realize that learning Malayalam is easier than how it looks like. We introduce simple letters first, and move on to the more complex ones. We give them a feel of how the sounds are similar to and different from the sounds in English. We don't frighten away the learners with complex linguistic or phonetic terminology or concepts. We haven't given the IPA pronunciations simply because this book is not for linguists or for advanced learners. An advanced learner like this reviewer doesn't need a book like this.