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Author Topic: So many serious grammar errors in six local textbooks teaching English!  (Read 17132 times)
Joe Carillo
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« on: June 06, 2009, 09:06:46 AM »

To alert all of those who care about good English and sound education for the Filipino people, I am reproducing the editorial of The Manila Times for today, June 6, 2009, about the grammar errors found in six locally produced textbooks teaching English:

EDITORIAL
News about textbook errors
 
In the gloom and doom brought on by the bad weather, the threat of a recession and the House of Representatives majority’s immoral House Resolution 1109 to form a Constituent Assembly, we must thank God for a piece of good news.

The Department of Education, yesterday’s Star reported (in the page one story by Rainier Allain Ronda), has admitted that the heroic watchdog of error-filled textbooks, Mr. Antonio Calipjo Go, is right again. DepEd admits that the Grade 1 to Grade 6 series of books all titled “English for You and Me” are filled with the errors exposed by former school administrator Go.

These books, authored by Elodie Cada and published by Book Wise Publishing House, are used nationwide by public elementary students.

To remedy the problem, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus announced, a “teacher’s guide” pointing out the errors and correcting them is now being printed and would soon be issued.

Secretary Lapus said his department studied the textbooks last February and confirmed the presence of the errors Mr. Go had exposed earlier. Mr. Go said he found more than 500 errors in the books.

This is a happy event. Before, the DepEd’s reaction to Mr. Go’s exposes was to find excuses and to claim, wrongly and unjustly, that he had taken the sentences out of context.

Mr. Go said in his expose that these six books “were published by Book Wise as part of the National Program Support for Basic Education [Loan Number 7393-PH] of the Department of Education under an agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.” The government, Mr. Go said, paid P383 million for these six books.

DepEd had given these books sterling credentials. On February 2, 2009 a department official said in an article in the Inquirer that these books were passed by an editorial board from the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and “passed with flying colors a rigid, multistage screening process, going through four areas of evaluation.” Academicians from prestigious universities had also evaluated and approved the books for accuracy of content and grammar.

Have a laugh, courtesy of Book Wise

We had a lot of laughs going through all the passages with grammatical, conceptual, vocabulary and idiomatic errors. The comic high is greater when all the errors pile up and one that is monumentally ridiculous stands out. Here are some of them:

From the Language textbook for Grade 6:

•The rain and storm are needed to snuff out the heat in the air. Enjoy the frolicking sun with the refreshing air around! Good weather is here to perk up the mind. •Heidi’s family went on a vacation to the province of Paoay.•In interviewing people, use questions that begin with who, what, when, where, how and did. •Just remember this acronym—DOCSiShQACNMN to make it easy for you to remember the order of adjectives in a series. •If you lose your keys, don’t fuss. If you lose your face, don’t wince. •Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novels “The Treasure Island” and “The Kidnapper.” •Listen to this comic strip as your teacher reads the lines. •My sister is old. She can accompany me to the outing.

From the Reading textbook for Grade 4

•After sunset, that is the time Muslims eat and drink much until midnight. Then they start fasting again the next day. • “Is what this man say true?” asked the judge. •Strong winds blow the rain inside the clouds. Bits of water break up causing electricity and lightning. •When the tamaraw is full-grown, it measures about 120 centimeters. •Juan Luna’s painting Spoliarium represents several circus slaves dragging dead bodies. There is also a young woman with her hair in disorder. •When an enemy comes, the porcupine releases some spines from its body. To be hit by these spines is like getting hit by arrows. The people of Palawan call this animal durian. •The eyes of a person who has rabies become very sharp. His mouth bubbles. •A handcuff is usually worn around the wrist. •He had stable horses.

From the Language textbook for Grade 4

•The baby winked her eyes. •If the message is not for you and you are going to call the person say, please hold your line. • The horse’s feet (used three times) •Monkeys use their tails as an extra hand. Don’t you think it would be funny to see a monkey pick guava with its tail? How funny! The monkey uses its tail to get its food. •Most Eskimos live in the snow most of the time.•Reading a road map is a proof that you are a good reader.

From Reading textbook for Grade 3

•The walls of the pupa case break. What do you think comes out from it? A baby butterfly comes out. The caterpillar will be a baby moth. •Ants have long hairs on their front legs. They use their hair like a brush. They clean their bodies with their tongue. When they cannot wash with their tongue, they clean with their feet. Why Do Ants Like to Clean? •Nurses going around the hospital injecting the patients. •Wind: If you see it, it makes the air move. •Sometimes the moon was only a half size like half of a cake.•There in a stable, they found Joseph who led them to the manger where Mary lay with the Child Jesus in her arms.

•Nibble: take in small bite •Sip: drink in small drop

From Language textbook for Grade 3

•What words that have the same sound? •The Chinese came to the Philippines many years ago. They rode on small boats. •To make the balloons round, I blew and blew. •Listen to your teacher reads the following poem. •This is Mentong. His family lived in a small cave thousands of years ago.

Check out this editorial in The Manila Times

----
What do you think of of this state of affairs in Philippine textbook publishing? Click the Reply button to post your thoughts on Jose Carillo’s English Forum


 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 09:09:00 AM by Joe Carillo » Logged

Furball
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2009, 08:05:49 PM »

Simply horrible.

Quote
On February 2, 2009 a department official said in an article in the Inquirer that these books were passed by an editorial board from the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and “passed with flying colors a rigid, multistage screening process, going through four areas of evaluation.”

Obviously, grammar and content were not included in the evaluation.

I wonder what these AdMU board members have to say.
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jasonago
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 05:56:47 PM »

This is ridiculous. The sentences sounds slang...don't fuss for a Grade Six student? Inappropriate.

Nurses going around the hospital injecting the patients! A grade 3 student reading this will only reinforce their fear of nurses. HEY I am a nurse...

"Nurses visit their client for a scheduled medication." sounds more appropriate and neutral.

"The rain and storm are needed to snuff out the heat in the air." SNUFF OUT? Very slang for a Grade six. The rain and storm are not actually needed to remove heat from air! Air conditioning units are actually needed but not a storm! Better way to say it is: The rain has the ability to dissipate heat from the surroundings.

"Reading a road map is a proof that you are a good reader" Citation please...

"Strong winds blow the rain inside the clouds. Bits of water break up causing electricity and lightning." I understand English teachers are not Science majors but the concept of rain and lightning is very basic. This is a so-so...Just like the balloon that they blew and blew...

Can anyone say DOCSiShQACNMN?

The best way to create a standard English book is to commission a panel of English experts here in the Philippines and abroad.
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tonybau
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 11:17:05 PM »

"What kind of England is being taught you in school?"

This is what I jokingly tell my son when I catch him making an obvious error in English usage, such as verb-subject agreement.

I would say it is ridiculous and a total disgrace for the authors of those books and those who screened and certified them. How much money did they get for releasing them?

tonybau
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Tryton Warwick
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2009, 04:24:38 PM »

Just dropping in to leave a couple of words:





"Thank GOD for this!!!"
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 02:14:38 PM »

You're most welcome, Tryton! We hope to see you often in the Forum.
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pedestrian
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 12:25:14 AM »

sorry for my poor English Level.

In the above content, it show different Language textbook have errors inside; however it just mentioned some paragraph, and did not explain where the error is. For me, it is difficult to learn from error.

anybody can mention where the error is ?

thanks
pedestrain
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2010, 11:09:29 AM »

The problems in the language textbooks cited in that editorial in The Manila Times way back in June 2009 are not all grammar errors per se. They are problems caused by inappropriate word choices, semantically questionable statements, illogical conclusions, and bad writing in general. It’s unfortunate that I don’t have the time to make detailed critiques of all the ill-advised textbook passages listed in that editorial, but I’ll give you a few samplers from the language textbook for Grade 6:

(1)   “The rain and storm are needed to snuff out the heat in the air.” There’s nothing wrong with the grammar of that sentence, but its sophomoric use of the phrasal verb “snuff out” makes it sound infantile, even ridiculous. To “snuff out” is much too strong and emotional a verb phrase to use in that context, for it means “to extinguish (as in smothering the flame of a candle), make extinct, kill, or execute.” And to say that the rain and storm are “needed” to do that snuffing out action is unwarranted personification, or inappropriate representation of rain and storm as humans. As we all know, rains and storms are natural phenomena; they just happen in the natural course of things, and to claim that they are “needed to snuff out the heat in the air” is childish talk that has no room in a Grade 6 textbook. Here’s a more objective, level-headed way to say what that sentence really meant to say: “The rain and storm take out the heat in the air.”
(2)   “Just remember this acronym—DOCSiShQACNMN to make it easy for you to remember the order of adjectives in a series.” It should be obvious even to a kindergarten pupil that this is ridiculous advice—a prescribed supposedly simple mnemonic to enhance recall (“DOCSiShQACNMN”) that’s infinitely more difficult to remember than the task itself of remembering the order of adjectives in a series. We normally expect to get such wildly inane advice from simpletons, not educators or textbook writers.
(3)   “Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the novels ‘The Treasure Island’ and ‘The Kidnapper.’” This factually erroneous sentence is the result not only of ignorance and laziness on the part of the textbook writer but also the carelessness and cluelessness of the textbook editors. The correct titles of those Stevenson novels are Treasure Island—without the article “The”—and Kidnapped—not “The Kidnapper.” This kind of factual error makes that textbook statement sound almost like a sick joke.
(4)   “My sister is old. She can accompany me to the outing.” This statement is semantically faulty to the point of being laughable. It gives the idea that old age is a prerequisite for someone to qualify as a companion to an outing. This time, the problem is both semantic and grammatical. What the textbook writer obviously wanted to say is, “My sister is old enough. She can accompany me to the outing.” The adjective “enough” would have been enough to make that statement logical, but the textbook writer evidently didn’t have enough sense to make that distinction.

This is as far as I can go at this time, pedestrian. I wish someone would pick up after me and find time to dissect the remaining problematic textbook passages in that collection. The critiques should make for very interesting, sometimes hilarious, but at times disturbing reading for lay people and educators alike.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 09:57:24 AM by Joe Carillo » Logged

ryan77
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 01:21:40 PM »

I really enjoyed the blog
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sita.pau@gmail.com annystephans annystephans
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 06:05:01 PM »

English has a lot of rules and those sites enhance the rules in english.
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hill roberts
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 02:38:17 AM »

Great blog but  a shame it can't be sent to Facebook so others can read this particular link. There are many things here that we can share and send to Facebook. Can the Webmaster make it happen, in the future?  Sad Education in the Philippines: Facing up to the challenges, Facebook, would be grateful to see Prof Carillo's essays and other works at this new site) Thank you. A great website indeed! Smiley
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aardvarklee
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 04:37:20 AM »

Children these days seem to have their own language they learn from other school children at school. They are inventing new words and phrases all the time.

My friends teenage son deliberately mixes up the tense for words.. for example, he would say something like "I is home now" and he knows it's slang.. the problem is the little one, he doesn't realize that it's bad use of English and has started to adopt this!
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 11:15:11 AM »

I agree with this topic Obviously, grammar and content were not included in the evaluation...
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 08:42:24 PM »

"...DOCSiShQACNMN to make it easy for you to remember the order of adjectives in a series" I will try. Cool Grin
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 04:48:47 PM »

your topic is so good , and it is so informative. Thank's for this information.
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