Tuesday, 06 November 2012 15:21
Today , more than ever we need to strengthen the frontiers of our knowledge and broaden our perceptions that we are living in an isolated land. With the invention of unimaginable technology that has improved our lives for the better and guaranteed our connection with people in just a click of a button and with people’s addiction to social media that has eaten their time more than going to the library and reading the minds of Shakespeare, Poe and even Hemingway, we can’t deny the fact that amidst these realities language is still a driving force that fuelled individuals to communicate their thoughts , live their noble spirits and advocate their undying philosophy… Yes… indeed the English language is truly a product of man’s intelligence and using that acquired genius we can now transform our present society to an ideal , just and humane and in accordance with the law of God and man… Looking at this perspective, the possibility of linking our worlds with others is within our hand. Thus , global access is achieved through the use of the English language.
How then do we become competent and fluent in the English language? Through reading ? Writing ? Listening ? or speaking ? Traditional teaching or innovative teaching ? There are thousands of ways to improve our English ability but how come our English proficiency nowadays is not advancing but rather getting poorer. Grammar rules are taught every now and then but how come there are still those who are confused and commit mistakes with the use of is and are … And we end up bursting with laughter … And take note , this is not only true to our students , but pardon me for being observant, for even some professionals are not grammatically conscious . What a shame ? Isn’t this not a serious problem of our educational system. And here we are dreaming of searching for a greener pasture on the other side of the fence and yet we are not fully prepared for greater challenges and for global standards , just because we are not equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to be at par with others.
The Filipino spirit of competing globally is undying and even getting stronger. Try to ask those who are taking nursing courses why it’s their choice and their answer is only one … to go abroad. Same goes with those in the engineering and even medicine . And if they can’t pass the English Proficiency Exam , as if their dreams die suddenly. Global access will only be possible if our learners are provided with a sound foundation through a combination of traditional and innovative teaching. The Filipino speakers are one of the brightest minds in the arena , there’s no doubt that they can still catch up with the demands of time especially if English language is taught comprehensively and conscientiously by teachers.
To this end , I urge my fellow language educators to be responsive to the needs of our contemporary society. The need to be ingrained in the teaching of communication arts , to truly prepare our learners for greater challenges that await them. Ours is not a simple job of making them memorize the subject- verb agreement , more so we have the responsibility to ensure that when they leave the portals of our care and sight they can stand with others and compete for a global career imbued with the virtue of confidence , self-worth and dignified because they are trained and molded. Only then we can be contented and fulfilled with our noble cause and of making them realize that learning English really matters.
by: Rosemarie P. Gontiñas
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