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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Memory Aids


  • Diversify your study time, place, and methods. Reading your notes aloud, rewrite key sections, use flashcards between classes or while on the bus on your way to school or home, have someone cross-question you, or leave yourself phone/e-mail messages about test notes.  Anything that would help you to remember previous lessons to pass your quiz or exams.
  • Outline material, restate ideas in your own words, or explain key concepts to someone else.
  • Use acronyms to remember bullets or longer materials. Example: CTA = Call to action, ESL = English as a Second Language.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Woes in English Communication.

Image from Google search.

English is called the universal language. The Filipinos' exposure to English was pronounced in the course of the American's residence in the Philippines and was not limited in schools alone, the language is widely used everywhere; at the government, businesses and industries, mass media and social institutions. It is considered a sign of sophistication and education if one can converse fluently in the English language. Throughout the colonization of the Americans, the cultural influence was so extensive that the Filipinos spoke the English language with a relatively same manner as these native speakers. Sometimes, we go as far as to sensor and look down on each other for not being able to have an impeccable grammar. Where native English speakers do not really mind if a non-native attempt to converse in broken English, majority of "schooled" Filipinos shame their own countrymen instead of educating them.

As time went on, the people who run the Philippine educational system realized that in the aspect of preserving the Filipino's cultural identity, a shift was necessitated. The educational system has given emphasis to the shift from English to Filipino language. Subjects which were discussed in English has now been taught in Filipino and extended outside of the classroom. And where government publications, businesses and other transactions still use the English language  for some technical terms that the Filipino language do not have, English and Filipino has relatively become the two official language in the Philippines and you will find two versions and translations within a document.

Because of this shift, the current generation of Filipino students have not had much opportunity to practice the English language, and because we do not speak English to each other at home, the student develops a dilemma with their communication skill in the English language. They find it difficult to convey their thoughts and emotions because they scramble to structure their Filipino language into English and the result could be problematic. The lack or absence of coherence and cohesion of the acknowledgment can be misunderstood and there is risk of miscommunication.

As a non-native speaker and English as a Second language teacher, I am sympathetic of my students who struggle to express their thoughts in English. Despite my fluency, I still struggle in many chunks of the English language, obviously, I'm sure anyone who reads this may find errors in my syntax still. Which is why it is very important for teachers to learn and gain patience and to continuously find improved techniques for a simpler and clear instructions especially for beginner students. As basic communication involves reading, listening & writing, by experience, it is also best to give emphasis on these other skills as they all go hand-in-hand together. It is impossible not to learn how to write the words if you only know how to read. How can your student identify what he's reading if he do not know how to write it, in the same way, you cannot miss a word when you hear it because you also know how to write and read it.

On my next post, I will try to illustrate how I initiate my students to the English language and what strategy I find effective in teaching the language.

Monday, October 1, 2018

My ESL teaching is now powered by PLDT!

I am now finally hooked up with PLDT Fibr and my students were amazed to see & hear me clearly this time. I was starting to have reservations when I didn't hear any more from my agent but I was surprised to receive a call from the installers that they were on their way. It was a quick install and I was like a kid playing with my new toy in no time. My students exclaimed excitement when they noticed that my camera feed & voice are more clear than the previous day. I told them that I finally changed to a new internet provider. They are very pleased with my switch because I can share my desktop through Skype and they do not have to wait for it to load and the image was clearer

Later in the afternoon I called Globe to discontinue my service and they calculated my adjustment bill plus termination fee and they quoted me Php5,000. My daughter was a little upset that with all the grief I went through with them, they still have the gall to charge me for the disconnection fee. I can't say I blame my daughter for feeling this way because she had seen me cry with one of my phone calls with Globe customer service because of too much frustrations and cancelled classes. We're all the same relieved that I do not have to go through that again. I can look forward to working in peace from here on.