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penmanila
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« on: September 04, 2009, 10:20:10 AM »

hi, joe, many thanks for opening this forum (and, of course, the website as a whole). one question that i've been thinking about a lot is how we can improve the english of the teachers of english in this country, noting how weak their own command of the language often is. i take that not necessarily as a failure of those persons, but of their own teachers, who probably didn't know any better. how do we arrest this vicious cycle (or, more correctly, this downward spiral) of competence and proficiency, especially as it applies to teachers? do seminars and things of that sort really help?

this is butch dalisay, by the way, signing in Wink
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renzphotography
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 06:38:46 AM »


Greetings Mr. Dalisay. In the past I recall seeing in the internet a webpage that you have maintained that contains links on short stories by Filipino authors.  Is it still working? Do you plan to update this collection?
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madgirl09
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 08:22:03 AM »

compared to native english speakers, our english teachers do not have enough exposure and natural use of the language at a day-to-day basis. upgrades in classroom strategies are are big factor too, but the level of english the teachers use reflect so much of their own inner circle of friends (whether they communicate in good english or not) , upbringing and academic orientation of his/her family, and personal initiative to improve his skills in english. many really try hard to be better, but resources and experience as well as the influence of the filipino environment as a whole (comfortable with carabao english) do not help so much.
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penmanila
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 11:18:17 AM »

thanks, but that page wasn't maintained by me, and i honestly can't recall now who did--maybe ian casocot? there's also a "best philippine short stories" site maintained by h. o. santos here:

http://www.sushidog.com/bpss/main.htm

"best" is, of course, a highly relative term Wink


Greetings Mr. Dalisay. In the past I recall seeing in the internet a webpage that you have maintained that contains links on short stories by Filipino authors.  Is it still working? Do you plan to update this collection?
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vinzvonvan
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 03:54:17 PM »

Greetings Joe! (I want to add Mr. or Ms. but I’ve no idea about you, although Joe is a male name). I wonder why you didn’t reply to penmanila’s queery here because I have the same questions in mind. During my early years of education, I looked up to my English teachers because they spoke a language not spoken at home and in my community.Though I studied in public schools, we were encouraged to speak English inside the classroom only during this subject. I don’t remember any of my English teachers committing mistakes in delivering the lessons.

I haven’t been teaching in the academe for four years now so I’ve no idea if classroom teachers are updated of trainings needed to be at par with ESL instructors. Most teachers speak English with Filipino intonation and even English majors do so. English as a subject is more concerned with grammar rules but teachers should also be aware of the correct pronunciation of words.

There’s this American blogger who went to the Philippines for a glimpse of the country and he summarized in his entry that Filipinos are good English speakers.And that the language is spoken by most people.Well I think he had to say that because he was here to add more advertisement for his BPO site.However, I may say that we are fortunate compared to some of our Asian brothers because English is taught as a major subject in school. 

Going back to penmanila’s post, seminars and trainings really help,especially if teachers are willing enough to update themselves. Smiley
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 05:55:45 PM »

I’m a heterosexual male and you can simply call me Joe. I feel much more comfortable being called by that nickname without any appellation.

You're right! I had overlooked formally replying to Mr. Dalisay’s posting when renzphotography beat me to the draw and asked him about the status of a short-story collection on the web. I therefore would like to apologize for having been distracted in that early exchange of postings in the Forum.

At any rate, vizvonvan, I’m a firm believer in the power of training seminars and workshops to update or upgrade one’s English-language skills; in fact, if I may be allowed a little plug, I do English grammar and usage seminars myself for companies and institutions every now and then. But to belatedly answer Mr. Dalisay’s big question: Do seminars and things of that sort really help? Definitely! As an officer of a major bank described one such seminar, “It was a ‘Eureka!’ moment for me!” This was because for so many years, she had thought that legalese was the one and only English suitable for business memos, letters, and reports, but the seminar-workshop she had just attended showed her that plain and simple English could do the communication job much more effectively and much more pleasantly than legalese!

I suppose this profound feeling of self-discovery also happens every time call-center agents steeped in one way of speaking English (often the homegrown variety taught by Filipino teachers who are nonnative English speakers) are forced to learn other ways of speaking it in terms of vocabulary, syntax, idiom, pronunciation, and intonation. For the American call-center market alone, there’s New York English, American Midwest English, California English, and so forth! There just are so many English dialects or idiolects to learn or unlearn! This, to me, is the value of reorientation seminars and refresher courses on English and so many familiar or unfamiliar things that people take for granted. They can extricate people from the time warp that they could get so firmly ensconced in under the relentless pressure of tradition, false pride, or plain smugness.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 10:46:56 PM by Joe Carillo » Logged

madgirl09
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 10:01:12 PM »

hello vinzvonvan....I am happy that you are successful in whatever you do now, despite your being non-major in that particular field. isn't that one proof of achievement for your teachers seeing their student excel in life?

you asked whether our teachers get regular in-service training? of course they do. that is a requirement for teachers as they get assessed in professional growth often, especially during summer when the long vacation offers opportunities for advancement. what would they do during the long summer when they are paid with or without students to teach?

being fluent and proficient in english requires more than just attending seminars though. regular use of the language and serious self study could propel one's growth especially if the environment does not provide your target twang or foreign accent. it depends too where in the world you will use your english in.

i think it would be good if you could also enlighten us of the many other ways of improving oneself. tell us your secrets and effective methods.  Wink  madgirl

errr, vinzvonvan...may i ask if you are male or female?
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vinzvonvan
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 04:52:06 PM »

Hello madgirl!
First, I’m so proud to be a female!
I think I’m not worthy enough to give suggestions on improving’s oneself because I’m an ordinary Filipino trying to make a living out of my humble profession as a teacher. I think your expertise should better be shared to us because you’re already in another country (Japan,right?)earning more and dealing with people of another ancestry.And I think you’ve said it:”regular use of the language and serious self study could propel one’s growth”.
Aside from the trainings I attended and the passion to learn English,I think I developed my communication skills using the second language.Now I think I’m ready to go back to the academe and impart to my students what I learned.Of course, that would mean continuous learning... again.
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madgirl09
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 07:27:05 PM »

Hi Vinzvonvan,
Are you teaching Korean students online? I have heard of a Japanese language school here hiring Filipino teachers teach English online. I think you belong to the group that teaches the Koreans? The going rate here is usually higher because of the high cost of living, so smarter language schools thought of hiring overseas educators for their online courses, especially from Philippines who don't have to leave their home country to be able to teach English. At times, I'd do that too. When some students needed highly technical English supports, I contacted a mechanical graduate and an accountant to conduct additional lessons by phone or video conferencing (30 minutes each time) added to my conversation lessons, as I could not provide everything they needed. I am really curious as to how other companies do it and how the more enterprising Korean companies run it (if you could share ideas about your system here...?). There was one online school that contacted me (Linguaphone), but I was not interested that time. Anyway, if you could share me a link (privately, or at the forum) to any school similar to yours, I'd be very glad.

Do you miss teaching our Filipino students? It's better to teach a bigger group, right? The reward is fulfilment. Wink
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