ILOCANO ONLINE

Iloco, literatura, cultura, kdpy.

‘multilingual_ed’ twitter account: a grassroots approach

We’ve just set up a twitter account with the username ‘multilingual_ed‘ and it’s for all of us who give a hoot about preserving our languages, our regional literature, our colorful and rich cultural diversity as a nation by promoting multilingual education (MLE) using a no-nonsense grassroots approach to keep our varied languages–NOT just Filipino and English–vibrant and out of the jaws of eventual extinction. We are going to sync our efforts with other MLE advocacy groups such as Mother Tongue Based Learning for the Philippines, the Lubuagan/SIL First Language Education experiment, the Pangasinan Provincial Resolution No. 195-2008, SOLFED, etc., to show the seriousness of our coalition to make multilingual education a reality.

But first, just what is multilingual educationUNESCO adopted the term ‘multilingual education’ in 1999 in the General Conference Resolution 12 to refer to the use of at least three languages, the mother tongue, a regional or national language and an international language in education. (In the case of the Philippines, the three languages as stipulated in the 1987 Constitution would be the mother tongue, Filipino and English.)  UNESCO’s General Conference Resolution 12 supported the view that the requirements of global and national participation, and the specific needs of particular, culturally and linguistically distinct communities can only be addressed by multilingual education.

What then is education in the mother tongue? Continue reading

April 28, 2009 Posted by | education, Gullas English bill, GUMIL, Guniigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill, language policy, medium of instruction, online learning, peer-to-peer university, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uphold Section 7, Article XIV, of the 1987 Constitution

Courtesy of ChristArt.com

Courtesy of ChristArt.com

Following is Section 7, Article XIV, of the 1987 Constitution:

“For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English.

The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.”

All we want is for GMA and DepEd to enforce it throughout the entire country. And never to eschew some of its important provisions as she did with Exec. Order 210 (2003).

The above are the exact words on the enabling tablet, our very own Constitution, over which we, Ilocanos, stake our right to use Ilocano as the auxilliary official language in Ilocandia and as auxilliary medium of instruction(MOI) in our schools.

What we need NOW is for GMA and DepEd to spell out a reasonable use of the regional languages as auxilliary official languages in the regions and as auxilliary medium of instruction therein by virtue of a simple Executive Order and an implementing DepEd Order.  No fuss, no muss. Continue reading

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Art. XIV, Bannawag, education, English, English proficiency, Filipino Literature in English, Gullas English bill, GUMIL, Guniigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill, Ilocano folklore, Ilocano literature, Iloco Literature, medium of instruction, of 1987 Constitution, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill, samiweng, Sec. 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VF: saan ngata a pati diay ‘paglabaan’ ket kasapulan a maikulada, joe?

Nakunamon, Kailian.  La ketdi ah, VF.  Ayanna a pagdaksan, Clif, ket asino ti mapagtalkan nga agikula?

This analogy is probably uninspired but it will do:  You have a huge pot filled with water in which our “Ilocano cookingwriters”–the ones involved in the Peter La. Julian-Cles Rambaud flame war and now this Bucanegan alleged contest irregularity, including other regional language groups except the Tagalogs–are afloat. This huge pot is sitting atop a huge stove and the government is stoking the embers, the fire burning under the pot to get the water to boil with the ultimate intention of getting everybody in the pot thoroughly boiled and washed, emerging eventually in their Tagalog/Filipino caps (can’t say if they are the thinking variety) so now they communicate in Tagalog/Filipino to foster what is really an elusive sense of nationalism (what nationalism?).

If you listen closer, the “Ilocanos” are more concerned about the bubble bath beads that ought to be added to the water the temperature of which continues to elevate, thanks to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Executive Order # 210 of May 17, 2003 and the implementing DepEd Order #36 of Aug. 22, 2006.  The others appear to be complaining about the aperitif being not of the imported kind. Who knows what else the other folks from other language regions are complaining about, but it’s definitely NOT about the water getting warmer, hotter in fact, and certainly NOT about the fella stoking the embers under the pot.

Madamdama, asinnonto pay ti ag-Bucanegan no dinto ammo dagiti pada nga Ilocano ti ag-Ilocanon? Asinnonto pay ti gumatang/agbasa iti Bannawag no dinto maawatan dagiti pada nga Ilocano ti Ilocano? No awanton dagiti nataengan? Tonno dumteng ti panawen a dagitoy ubbing–a sumungbat kenka iti Tagalog/Filipino no kasaritam ida iti Ilocano–ken dagiti annakda ti sumukat?

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Bannawag, education, Gullas English bill, GUMIL, Guniigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill, Ilocano literature, Ilocano poetry, Ilocano weekly magazine, Iloco Literature, Iloco poetry, Iloco short story, language policy, medium of instruction, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill, sarita, short story | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

HARRY POTTER: Some meanings could be lost in translation

Even as the sixth film in the popular Harry Potter series is scheduled to be released simultaneously in the US and UK on July 17, 2009 in regular cinemas amd IMAX 3-D, there seems to be no pressure for anyone to come up with a translation of the books in any of the Philippine languages for the obvious reason that Filipinos–most of those who’ve gone to school and learn and understand enough English anyway–would probably want to read and enjoy the books in English with none of the usual language nuances lost in translation.  How, for instance, do you translate Quidditch in Ilocano?

In fact, the learning of English as provided by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Executive Order No. 210 (2003) and implemented by DepEd Order No. 36 (2006) could probably benefit from both the text and audio versions of the Harry Potter books to reinforce the oral part of a grade school English course.  Simply require grade school students to read any given text file of the Harry Potter series while they listen to the corresponding audio file as rendered by Englishman Jim Dale, the featured voice in more than 25 popular audio books.  Snippets of the text and corresponding audio files of the Harry Potter novels could easily be developed into YouTube video episodes with the proper permissions from the J.K. Rowling jaggernaut.  The  Harry Potter episodes, if developed in YouTube, would be one of the most effective ways of learning how to pronounce English, something even Dr. Henry Higgins would have wanted for Eliza Dolittle in “My Fair Lady“.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | education, English, English proficiency, Gullas English bill, Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

English is our national language

blackboardesltip8Section 7, Article XIV, of the 1987 Constitution provides that “For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

For all intents and purposes, English is our more predominant national language in (a) the three branches of government, (b) public and private schools as medium of instruction (MOI) in accordance with Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Exec. Order 210 of 2003 as implemented by DepEd Order No. 36, and (c) the other non-Tagalog speaking regions of the country. (Well, the regional languages have been essentially dropped or ignored as auxiliary media of instruction, period.)  Even some of the proponents of Filipino as the national language seem to have a comfortable preference expressing themselves in English; can’t blame them for using this de facto global language to convince the rest of us who are not Tagalogs  to communicate in Tagalog, er, Filipino. Continue reading

February 21, 2009 Posted by | education, English, English proficiency, Filipino Literature in English, Gullas English bill, Guniigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill, Ilocano folklore, Ilocano literature, Iloco Literature, medium of instruction, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why can’t the Ilocanos speak Ilocano?

Remember Dr. Henry Higgins delivering this well-aimed tirade at the deterioration of the English language in “My Fair Lady,” director George Cukor’s film musical adaptation (1964 Oscar winner for Best Picture) of George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion?  “Well, in America,” Dr. Higgins chimed, “they haven’t used it for years.”

To be fair, spoken English in the Philippines is not expected to approach that level which Dr. Higgins has in mind.  Nevertheless, Filipinos all the way to the top are trying to develop at least some decent skills to read, write and speak English, albeit sans the British accent.

First off, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came up with Executive Order No. 210 on May 17, 2003, “ESTABLISHING A POLICY TO STRENGTHEN THE USE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS A MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM”.  This is implemented by Department of Education Order No. 36 dated August 22, 2006.  Three salient points of the presidential executive order are:

  1. English shall be taught as a second language, starting with the First Grade.
  2. As provided for in the 2002 Basic Education Curriculum, English shall be used as the medium of instruction for English, Mathematics and Science from at least the Third Grade level.
  3. The English language shall be used as the primary medium of instruction in all public and private institutions of learning in the secondary level, including those established as laboratory and/or experimental schools, and non-formal and vocation or technical vocational institutions.  As the primary medium of instruction, the percentage of time allotment in learning areas conducted in the English language is expected to be not less than seventy percent (70%) of the total time allotment for all learning areas in the secondary level.

Now comes House Bill No. 4701 (Gullas English bill) introduced by Cebu Congressman Eduardo Gullas.  The bill, if approved, would prescribe the use of English as the medium of instruction (MOI) in Philippine schools.  Attaining proficiency in English is the rationale for the bill but to me, this can be achieved without an act of Congress which would perhaps require an amendment of the present Constitution which provides that Filipino and English shall be the MOI together with the regional languages as auxilliary MOI.  The Department of Education (DepEd) could simply issue a simple Department Order aimed at upgrading the teaching of English by upgrading the English teaching skills of the teachers themselves 70% of whom are reportedly deemed ill-equipped to teach English in the first place.  This latter course of action would not require a constitutional amendment.

Senate Bill No. 2294 (otherwise known as the Roxas Omnibus Education Reform bill), introduced by Sen. Mar Roxas, has a lot of good features.  It would require raising the number of years to normally complete elementary to high school from the current 10 years to 12 years, the latter being the norm in most countries, including the United States.  It will also require a compulsary year of pre-school education.  On the English front, “a certification of proficiency in English shall be mandatory for all applicants for the Teachers Licensure Examination, provided that, all teachers with a license duly issued by the Professional Regulation Commission at the time of the effectivity of this Act shall be required to show the same certification of proficiency in English as a requirement for any promotion, position upgrading or change of assignment or post.”  I am guessing that the unsaid desired outcome for having teachers certified as proficient in English would be students becoming more proficient in English as well.  Additionally, the Senate Bill requires the use of the mother tongue as MOI from First Grade to Third Grade while requiring at the same time the teaching of English and Filipino as subjects.

House Bill No. 3719 (also known as the Gunigundo Multilingual Education and Literacy bill) introduced by Valenzuela Congressman Magtanggol Gunigundo, goes a little further by requiring the use of the respective mother tongue as the MOI for the entire grade school and then reverts to the use of English and Filipino as MOI from first year high school and beyond.  The inherent advantages of using the mother tongue as MOI during the child’s early years in school have been the subject of a number of UNESCO studies on the subject; this system, UNESCO asserts, makes the child better prepared to learn other languages later. The bill has wide support from academia, including Ricardo Ma. Nolasco, Acting Chairman of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.

There are common grounds for all the above bills pending in Congress.  One that stands like an eyesore in the middle of it all is the recognition of the urgent need to upgrade the proficiency of our teachers and students to read, write, and communicate verbally in English.  However, the Gunigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill appears to bring us closer to preparing our kids to get more out of their grade school education using their respective mother tongues or regional languages as MOI for the entire elementary school years.  The acquisition of English language skills could come later in high school and beyond. As it is, there is a definite need to pause and reflect on the effects of aggressively imposing Tagalog, er Filipino, and English as MOI from grade school all the way up because we are witnessing a difficult-to-reverse phenomenon of the other regional languages, such as Ilocano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Bicol, etc., being marginalized or left to die eventually.

The signs of other regional languages becoming extinct in favor of Filipino and English are already there.  When I went for a visit to my hometown (Bangui, Ilocos Norte) in March last year, I talked in Ilocano with the folks I met and half the time they answered back in Filipino with a sprinkling of English (code-switching).  The ones who care to answer me back in Ilocano are the older folks.  But once the generation of older speakers of Ilocano eventually fade from the scene and the young ones schooled under the present educational system take over, Ilocano will ultimately die as well.

Right now, I’m just as frustrated as Dr. Henry Higgins is in the video above.  ‘Cause “Why can’t the Ilocanos speak Ilocano?”

February 18, 2009 Posted by | education, English, English proficiency, Gullas English bill, Guniigundo Multilingual and Literacy bill, medium of instruction, Roxas Omnibus Education and Literacy bill | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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