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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teaching English must start with preschool children

 
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth."  ~Dan Rather

Learning English language must start with preschool children and they should be given the right amount of time and training in their education concerning the use of a language. The only problem why we lack in communication is that the pupils starting with kindergarten are not trained well by their teachers as regards the macro-skills in teaching a language.

“Attaining the language skill requires the mastery of a system that takes literally years to learn. This requires on the part of the teacher skill in noting the difficulties of the learners in both oral and written English, presuming that the primary children have mastered the listening skill while still in their elementary years. But this does not mean that listening should be done away with. Much as the teacher wants to perfect language learning in speaking and writing, he can still require his pupils to practice in the open air where sounds are freely transmitted inasmuch as language is sound. The outcome of individual or societal integration cannot be achieved unless the student has acquired a command of the language he learns in school. It is through this that his personality adjustment and social participation are achieved, relevant to his future professional and preparatory years in elementary school.”

Learning English language must commence with preschool children and they should be given the right amount of time and semi-rigid training in their education concerning the use of a language appropriately without a hassle. The only problem why we lack in communication skills as far as English language is concerned is that the pupils starting with kindergarten are not trained well by their teachers as regards the macro-skills in teaching a particular language.  Aside from that, the principles and practice of writing should be required as part of rudimentary task and professional work. The reader to whom the training is directed is primarily the technical learner who has had enough training in the fundamentals of composition to be ready for consideration with some specialized problems of technical writing. 

In the second language situation, mastery of a certain language is significant to the public in the sense that it helps perceive what is lacking for them in the other aspects of communication skills; in addition to the mastery of form, it does not guarantee communicative proficiency neither does communicative practices necessarily result in such a mastery of form. In the bilingual setup, only grammatical patterns and forms are needed in the Philippine setting, and they should be taught to the point of mastery. 

Thoroughly reforming the art of speaking…

Another problem that needs to be raised is to reform thoroughly the art of public speaking in a distinct and strategic way of communication. In fact, giving speeches or public speaking is tremendously feared by most people from all walks of life. It has caused them to cringe in front of the audience, drop their natural warmth to zero as they talk with professionals, lose spontaneity and stamina as they relate to business people or even shrink in a casual chat. That is why constant practice needs everyone perfect at all times, and many recitations, presentations and reports inside the classrooms are shared by the artistic and creative language teachers despite the fact that learning such a language is gloomy and dragging. Many speakers conquer fear by hiding themselves behind the slides, overheads, out-of-sight narrations, tables, copy reports, speeches of other persons and the results are devastating. Potential leaders deprive themselves of an opportunity to reach their maximum levels and potentials. It can’t be avoided to have experienced and encountered that kind of strategic approach in public speaking, and can’t be avoided that we will redound to effective outcomes of acquiring communication skills.

By all accounts, it is true that we lag behind others  in terms of English language communication because we neglect the value of dedication as well as rigid training every day until each of us will complete the entire course. There are a lot of factors why we can’t surpass, conquer or overcome weaknesses in communication skills, and can’t attempt to work out by degrees the reasons behind of such a poor communication. The solution to the problems, besides knowing profoundly what is English all about and what are the structured lessons in English using the macro-skills in language teaching, is paving the way to structured lessons in English utilizing the macro-skills’ learning performance--thus attaining more developments in intellectual aspects and acquisition of language to make the valuable resource assimilate with peers and adults in developing a sense of personal growth and find a place in social and economic life adopted to this capacity and personal preference. 

Language skills require the mastery of a system…

Attaining the language skill requires the mastery of a system that takes literally years to learn. This requires on the part of the teacher skill in noting the difficulties of the learners in both oral and written English, presuming that the secondary freshmen students of a public school have mastered the listening skill while still in their elementary years. But this does not mean that listening should be done away with. Much as the teacher wants to perfect language learning in speaking and writing, he can still require his students to practice in the open air where sounds are freely transmitted inasmuch as language is sound. The outcome of individual or societal integration cannot be achieved unless the student has acquired a command of the language he learns in school. It is through this that his personality adjustment and social participation are achieved, relevant to his future professional and preparatory years in elementary school. 

The manifestation of various teaching strategies for use in the field has perplexed a lot of public secondary English teachers whose students come from different educational backgrounds. These students come from exclusive schools which have diverse English books and students come from remote barangay elementary schools which have dearth of learning materials and limited learning experiences. The teachers are cynical whether or not the methods they use in their classes could keep up with the standards of a good and effective teaching procedure considering a mixture of students they have in the classroom.

Teaching should be adjusted to the needs of the learners. Because of this, it is imperative to determine first their difficulties and needs so that whatever materials a teacher purports to design should be in accordance with these needs. This is what is known as directional teaching. This means an assurance of more achievements in teaching than mere teaching without any sound basis. 

Bilingual teaching has become a setback in the students’ attempts to gain proficiency in English. It used to be that the Philippines’ biggest competitive advantage in the global job market is the proficiency of our skilled workers in the English language. This advantage is fast being eroded by rising competition from other countries coupled with declining mastery of the English language by our high school and college graduates. That is the reason why there is a private sector willing to invest in the Philippines in order for the Filipinos to be globally competitive when it comes to oral and written communications in English. 

Poor English communication…

Philippines is lagging behind in terms of English language, both in oral and written communications as compared to other Asian and European countries. Before, it was highly regarded as the best country as far as oral and written communications are concerned; although, English is only the second language, aside from Filipino language spoken nationally by the entire region. There is a deteriorating factor that affects so much in the interest in learning a particular language—and that is English. Some reasons are, perhaps, overloaded with subject offerings within the educational system of DepEd. Well, the answer lies in us as Filipinos who are stagnant about the intellectual skills and linguistic developments—both verbal and non-verbal. 

Filipinos, despite the loss of enthusiasm in the acquisition and adaptation of a modern English language, strive hard to surpass or excel in all the subjects that have something to do with English communication since the target language is used as medium of instructions in the Philippines. 

The NGOs and other private sectors are very supportive of the Filipinos and find ways about speech or language difficulty in order to remedy slowly whatever problems that entailed in language communication. Failures to correct mistakes in speech difficulty are the twisted principles that must be corrected at once; otherwise, these are the stumbling blocks in learning the target language. 

In previous years, the Promoting English Proficiency Project of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, the Makati Business Club and Sun Microsystems Phils., Inc. commissioned the survey. It was aimed at developing a world-class Filipino workforce with English proficiency that meets high international standards. “English means jobs,” said Rick Santos, AmCham president. “We believe that there are great opportunities in business process outsourcing (BPO), IT-enabled services, software development, and tourism in the country.” 

In a competitive learning institution…

Life is a wonderful journey for the school achievers, especially to our proud parents with their kids who pan out this year with flying colors. It is an achiever's path that you set and determine by the choices you make each day. As the saying goes, "The future belongs to those who strive hard academically, those who succeed by receiving the awards, and those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." So as you step out to meet the challenging world each year with your mind prepared, your skills and achievements tuned, I urge you to set your academic direction with a positive attitude and strong spirit. Hereunder is the detailed account of what really a preschool life for me and my child who is enrolled in a competitive preschool learning institution. Frankly speaking, the preschool education here in our area caters to the quality of education and needs of our children for the optimal development during their preschool years. The parents and teachers cooperate in providing the best possible environment for the growth and development of the preschoolers. The parents single out to enroll their kids in a competitive school to learn from experience and imitation. They expect individualized instruction by each competent teacher who is equipped with a caliber of intelligence and a vast repertoire of experiences.

To tell the whole world what I feel about preschool education, I am very happy that my kids are enrolled in a prestigious "competitive school" in our town because he can survive all the challenges that the school is giving and tasking. Based on parents' accounts, experiences were so great and competition was very tough. I would like to advise the parents out there to choose a "competitive preschool" school in your area that offers quality of education to your children. Here in neighborhood preschool institution, there's a motto that teaching is a big business. When a teacher stands before his class and directs his pupils to recite, this is only a small part of teaching. He is fully qualified educationally and then he must have the following professional qualifications, instructional competencies, skills and personal characteristics. I observed that the school is student-centered. It gives the preschoolers' varieties of activities such as materials and other stuff for experimenting and learning; materials that are available for the child at all times, including his personal tools and text books; playground apparatus for large muscle development has been built for the children; picture books, drums and other simple musical instruments have been provided for them; the planned program of cooperation between parents and teachers is accessible from time to time; individual conferences, study groups, and sharing of materials are strictly implemented; utilizing community agencies and resources; and parent active involvement and participation in any activity for the preschool learning institution.

As a parent of two kids, for five years of attending the "preschool" school, I've been actively recommending other parents to study in the primary school because of the tuition fees which are so affordable, and the personal characteristics of the teachers are tremendous. They are well-trained preschool teachers. They possessed characteristics such as punctuality and enthusiasm, intelligence, good physical and mental health, loyalty and commitment, respect for the dignity of the individual, fair level of tolerance, good professional and human relations, good moral and ethical character, leadership and followership, and most of all love for children.

Let's celebrate the days of preschool recognition and success and always prepare for the challenges that meet each of our children as they venture through life. For although we may consciously make the most positive decisions in day-to-day struggles in their preschool studies, you and I know that there will always be hard days for them and for all of us parents. It is during the times of success that the kids will stay and enjoy, will know their teachers' names. And it is also during funny times of competition that the preschoolers and parents will know each character. To our children who enrolled in a competitive primary learning institution, you are now the recipients of this school year with various academic awards and you are equipped to take on the world of preschool recognition and achievements. Your life is now your destiny. In fact, a competitive preschool education will not impose deadlines but give constant learning struggles to achieve. In my point of view, whether we like it or not, your preschool life is yours to create. We have simply built a strong foundation for the kids' future, so you must single out a "preschool" that offers competitive learning and can independently design and shape one's character--building your child's character just to be submissive, but competitive in a righteous manner.

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Important Quotes for Teachers

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward. The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton. A teacher's purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image. ~Author Unknown. What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches. ~Karl Menninger. Teaching should be full of ideas instead of stuffed with facts. ~Author Unknown. The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. ~K. Patricia Cross

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