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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ambition, poverty, competition, achievement, language proficiency—name it and you’ll have it all



As the saying goes: "A great ambition is the passion of a great character!" 


Ambition is a propelling power that urges man to create opportunities and succeed. It is a splendid idea which awakens hopeless souls. For all we know, a great ambition is the passion of a great character.

Perhaps, dreams and ambitions are within us and no one can take them away. But, how can we reach the ladder of success if life’s challenges and struggles are blocking our way? Are we still brave enough to continue soaring high and reach success or take a step backward and just give up?

For our choices to commence with, everyone has to make them all that distinguishes one from another and to what extent it will impact our lives and what direction it will lead us to a definite goal. Reaching our dreams and propelling our ambitions in life are not facile. We come to know our weaknesses which make us aware of what we need to improve in ourselves.

God gives us dreams with diverse sizes to gauge so that we can potentially grow and pan out. We all know we are not perfect. Despite our lapses we tend to do mistakes and with this given scenario, we learn different lessons with lots of reasons to cling to them.

MNSHS strikes at Presscon 

Participating schools join call vs poverty and extreme hunger

MINGLANILLA -- In the fight against poverty and extreme hunger, the advocacy should start from the young.

As this year's Area Level Schools Press Conference (ASPC) focuses on the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly the MDG 1 (Alleviate Poverty and Hunger), the Department of Education (DepEd) mobilizes schools support by advocating and integrating them in related school-community initiatives.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said, "There is power in the pen and we highlight this in our school journalists and their publications. We enlist their active participation in this advocacy because our young journalists know how to optimize the power of communication."

"We can also expect that the government will find more community stakeholders who will be our partner in overcoming poverty and hunger," he added.

The annual ASPC is preparatory to Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC), Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC) and National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) that draw a thousand campus journalists from public and private elementary and high school students. 

During the Area Level Schools Press Conference (Southeast), the resounding call where the theme "Campus Journalism as a Catalyst for Change: Achieving the MDGs by 2015" was heard by a number of delegates from different towns within division of Cebu Province in Region VII who gathered in Sibonga National High School, Sibonga, Cebu for this year's competition.

The 2-day-activity was held at the Sibonga Centrum on Friday and Sibonga National High School on Saturday, English Secondary Supervisor Mrs. Evelyn F. Balang welcomed the delegates to Presscon and lauded them for participating actively in the contest, as well as choosing Sibonga National High School in the southeast to host the ASPC.

"With the support of all schools within division of Cebu Province, this gathering has the potential of igniting the flame in bright young minds about writing and opportunities in journalism," Dr. Ramir Uytico said in his message.

The ASPC is an activity of the Division Campus Journalism Program of Region VII, designed to upgrade the journalistic competencies of student writers for quality campus journalism. This year's competition centers on the issues of Campus Journalism as a Catalyst for Change: Achieving the MDGs by 2015.

Dr. Uytico praised the school head, and teachers who provided the facilities and the time for a responsible journalism program within their school.

He also cited the growing number of student journalists who seriously take their tasks of writing events, issues, activities and concerns through attractive, interesting and responsible reporting.

Qualified participants in the forthcoming division schools press conference will compete in editorial cartooning, feature writing, editorial writing, sports writing, news writing, photojournalism layout, radio scriptwriting, copyreading and headline writing.

During the awarding ceremony, only the top 15 participants as campus journalists are qualified to compete in Division Schools Press Conference.

Minglanilla National Science High School student-writers have grabbed numerous awards from diverse categories in English and Filipino to represent DSPC: Dave Martjee Paug, Copy reading and Headline Writing (1st place); Joy Tiffany Degamo, Sports Writing (1stplace); Zyshan Castellano, Feature Writing (1st place); Vince Alex Villahermosa, Editorial Cartooning (1st place); Damsel Mondido, Sports Writing (1st place); Christbhel Garem Garcia, Photojournalism (3rd place); Mary Grace Gulay and Zyshan Nain Castellano, Copyreading & Headline Writing (8th place & 9thplace, respectively); Debbie Ellis Daniel, Sports Writing (8thplace)); Kevin Ubas, Editorial Cartooning (3rd place); Justine Faith Basilla, Feature Writing (4th place); Katrina Lucero, Editorial Writing (6th place); Agnes Marie Auman, News Writing (8thplace); Carlo Galicia, News Writing (`12th place); Ron Bugay, Editorial Writing (10th place); Wennie Langbid, Feature Writing (3rdplace); Franzis Mari Lawas, Sports Writing (7th place); Mary Claire Christner Catado, Photojournalism (5th place); Mary Claire Christner Catalado (5th place); Don Francis Acapulco (10th place); Fedelf Nina Acapulco, (5th place); Aldrin Navarro (6thplace); and Fedelf Niña Delfin (5th place).

MNSHS ranks 1st place in Mid-Year Division Achievement Test, including RAT and NAT Public Secondary Schools, Municipality of Minglanilla District I
The principal of Minglanilla National Science High School Mrs. Eutiquia S. Alday is very happy with the outcome of mid-year division achievement test, including regional achievement and national achievement tests last school year despite low results in some major subjects, except for English. She said teachers must strive hard to get better results in MPS.

She wants all the teachers not only in Minglanilla National Science High School but also other public secondary schools in the Municipality of Minglanilla, where she is currently holding the post as lead principal, not to be contented with these results. They have to exert more efforts in preparation for DAT, RAT and NAT in order to get 100% MPS target in all the tests to be conducted by the Department of Education in the years to come.
           
She also said the results of last year Regional Achievement Test and National Achievement Test were very satisfactory. She expects that this school year all teachers will aim 100% MPS and will lead again not only in this municipality but also other municipalities in the Division of Cebu Province.
                       
Level of Language Proficiency of the Freshmen Students with Reference to Pronunciation and Correct Usage 

This chapter presents the analysis and interpretation of the gathered data that ultimately answer the inquiries sought in the study. The presentation is divided into five parts: Part I gives the data on the level of language proficiency of the freshmen science high school students with reference to pronunciation and correct usage. Part II delineates the results of the mean pretest and post test scores of the students based on the structured lessons of macro-skills’ learning performance. Part III shows whether there is a significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest scores of the students in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Part IV shows the overall results of the mean (pretest and posttest) gain scores in the aforementioned areas of language teaching. Part V entails module which can be proposed based on the findings of the study.

Also in this part is the intended course of action administered by the researcher to the students, particularly in the public school--a short course of study within the limited or interval time of instruction that forms part of a larger academic course or training program given to seventy-five (75) students in two selected classes as first year students of a Science High School. 

The results and findings of the study obtained from the freshmen students as the written outputs were provided with the assessment and feedback as the outcome of the course of study. Likewise, the data were presented, analyzed and interpreted to gain better insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the teaching and learning performance in English among the freshmen students.

The effectiveness of structured macro-skills’ development lessons in English hinges on the four (4) areas of language teaching such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. It contains language proficiency indices: accuracy, appropriateness, correct usage, inflection, and pronunciation, oral and written English.

Each of these items was treated in part as a test. The data gathered were grouped accordingly based on the four (4) main areas as the macro-skills of English language teaching. The data presented were shown the frequency or number as found in the corresponding tables. The pronunciation and correct usage levels of language proficiency of the freshmen science high school students were also shown and treated separately below:

Level of Language Proficiency of the Freshmen Students with
Reference to Pronunciation and Correct Usage

Table 1 shows the level of language proficiency of the freshmen students. The mean of 75 students with reference to pronunciation was 81.9333 and was rated Very Good while the mean of 75 students with reference to correct usage was 77.5867 and was rated Good.

These high ratings of the freshmen students as a public school could be attributed to the fact that they focused more on their studies and had more chances of studying their lessons not only in school but also at home. They had enough supplemental books as references; thus, they owned them and had more time to research and study the lessons given to them by the subject teacher concerned.

Students of the aforementioned school, based on this study, were more competent because they had high motivation to beaver away their studies. This supports the idea of Aquino (1989) that the high degree of motivation is a contributing factor to a high competence in learning academic and non-academic subjects.

Besides, the notion is supported by Aristotle that constant study and practice both in school and at home result in excellence which is an art won by training and habituation. Teachers and students do not act rightly because they have virtue or excellence, but they rather have those because they have acted rightly. They are what they repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible.

Table 1

Level of Language Proficiency of the Freshmen Science High School Students with Reference to Pronunciation and Correct Usage

Categories
Mean
Level of Language Proficiency
Pronunciation
81.9333
Very Good
Correct Usage
77.5867
Good

Legend:
                90 and above                                       (Excellent)
                80-89                                            (Very Good)
                70-79                                                     (Good)
                60-69                                                     (Fair)
                50-59                                                     (Poor)

Mean Pretest and Posttest, Standard Deviation and Error Mean of
the Freshmen Students

Table 2 shows the paired samples’ statistics of the mean pretest and posttest of the macro-skills in language teaching, standard deviation and standard error mean using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) version 14, a computer program used for statistical analysis.

It also shows the relevance with regard to the freshmen students who took the pretest and posttest scores. It can be gleaned from table 2 that the posttest mean of the group in the listening area which is 83.1067 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 75.5333. 

In the standard deviation, the result of pretest is 10.95980 while the result of posttest is 6.07959. Unlike the standard error mean, the result of pretest is 1.26553 while the result of posttest is .70201; the posttest mean of the group in the speaking area which is 87.1200 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 80.5467. In the standard deviation, the result of pretest is 4.92455 while the result of posttest is 3.42471.

Unlike the standard error mean, the result of pretest is .56864 while the result of posttest is .39545; the posttest mean of the group in the reading area which is 86.7333 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 84.4133. In the standard deviation, the result of pretest is 3.28425 while the result of posttest is 3.17649. Unlike the standard error mean, the result of pretest is .37923 while the result of posttest is .36679; the posttest mean of the group in the writing area which is 85.4400 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 76.3333. In the standard deviation, the result of pretest is 6.26732 while the result of posttest is 5.29467. Unlike the standard error mean, the result of pretest is .72369 while the result of posttest is .61138. 

It shows further that the posttest score in the speaking area got 1st rank which is 87.1200 while the pretest is 80.5467 of which the difference is 6.5733; the posttest score in the reading area got 2nd rank which is 86.7333 while the pretest is 84.4133 of which the difference is 2.3200; the posttest score in the writing area got 3rd rank which is 85.4400 while the pretest is 76.3333 of which the difference is 9.1067. 

Table 2

 Mean Pretest and Mean Posttest

MACRO-SKILLS
MEAN
STANDARD DEVIATION
STD. ERROR MEAN
Areas
Pretest
Posttest
Pretest
Posttest
Pretest
Posttest
Listening
75.5333
83.1067
10.95980
6.07959
1.26553
.70201
Speaking
80.5467
87.1200
4.92455
3.42471
.56864
.39545
Reading
84.4133
86.7333
3.28425
3.17649
.37923
.36679
Writing
76.3333
85.4400
6.26732
5.29467
.72369
.61138

Paired Samples’ Test/Paired Differences of the Macro-Skills by the Freshmen Students 

To find out if there was a significant difference between the pretest and posttest mean scores of the students exposed to the areas such as listening, speaking, reading and writing, the difference between these two means was subjected to a paired t-test.

It was gleaned from table 3 that the mean of students in the listening area was -7.57333, standard deviation was 10.63291, standard error mean was 1.22778, 95% confidence interval of the difference (lower limit) was -10.0974 and the difference (upper limit) was -5.12692, the c.v. result was -6.168 is greater than the t.v. result which was -10.01974. Therefore, the macro-skill in the listening area was not significant.

The mean of students in the speaking area was -6.57333, standard deviation was 5.31742, standard error mean was .61400, 95% confidence interval of the difference (lower limit) was -7.79676 and the difference (upper limit) was -5.34991, the c.v. result was -10.706 is lesser than the t.v. result which was -7.79676. Therefore, the macro-skill in the speaking area was significant.

The mean of students in the reading area was -2.32000, standard deviation was 2.98265, standard error mean was .34441, 95% confidence interval of the difference (lower limit) was -3.00625 and the difference (upper limit) was -1.63375, the c.v. result was -6.736 is lesser than the t.v. result which was -3.00625. Therefore, the macro-skill in the reading area was significant.

The mean of students in the writing area was -9.10667, standard deviation was 7.38621, standard error mean was .85289, 95% confidence interval of the difference (lower limit) was -10.80608 and the difference (upper limit) was -7.40726, the c.v. result was -10.677 is greater than the t.v. result which was -10.80608. Therefore, the macro-skill in the writing area was not significant.

Mean Gain of the Pretest and Posttest Scores of Freshmen Students

The mean gain test scores of singled-out freshmen students as found in Table 4 of the macro-skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing as structured in the lessons were used as a result in statistical analysis and computation of the mean pretest and mean posttest. It was disclosed upon interpretation of data that the mean gain in the listening area was obtained as the result of the subtraction of number from the mean pretest which was 75.5333 from the mean posttest which was 83.1067. The findings revealed that only the areas in speaking and reading got the highest posttest percentages of them all. In the writing area, the mean gain was obtained as the result of the subtraction from the pretest which was 76.3333 from the mean posttest which was 85.4400.

To find out and to have the final results: in the listening area, the mean posttest was 83.1067 while the mean gain was -7.57333 which had the lowest mean pretest and posttest percentages as compared to the other areas; in the speaking area, the mean posttest was 87.1200 while the mean gain was -6.57333 which got the 1st rank posttest percentage; in the reading area, the mean gain was -2.32000 which got the 2nd rank posttest percentage and also got 1st rank pretest percentage among them; and in the writing area, the mean gain was -9.10667 which got 3rdrank posttest percentage, next to the speaking and reading areas. Thus, as shown in table 4, it can be gleaned further that the posttest mean of the group in the listening area which is 83.1067 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 75.5333; the posttest mean of the group in the speaking area which is 87.1200 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 80.5467; the posttest mean of the group in the reading area which is 86.7333 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 84.4133; and the posttest mean of the group in the writing area which is 85.4400 is higher than the pretest mean of the group which is 76.3333.

Table 4

Mean Gain Posttest Scores of the Students

MACRO-SKILLS
MEAN
MEAN GAIN
Areas
Pretest
Posttest
Listening
75.5333
83.1067
-7.57333
Speaking
80.5467
87.1200
-6.57333
Reading
84.4133
86.7333
-2.32000
Writing
76.3333
85.4400
-9.10667


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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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