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Topics - madgirl09

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Use and Misuse / The Plight of the JPEPA Nurses and Caregivers in Japan
« on: January 26, 2010, 07:23:17 AM »
Hello Friends. I am writing an article or Letter to the Editor to be sent soon to our leading English newspaper here in Japan. Have you heard about the JPEPA workers finally coming to Japan? The issue was debated extensively in the past 2 years in the Philippines, until the group finally arrived in Japan in May, 2009. Now that they are here facing numerous problems, they are helpless and frustrated. There are so many issues to be tackled in the body including unfair labor policies, non-professionalism, insufficient language study, salary below poverty line, absence of a labor attache to represent them, etc. I need the expertise of some of you here, especially on the art of reasoning and social issues (renz and maxims... ;D) and suggest ways to simplify, make it formal and worth reading (Sir Joe, please). I wish others share their thoughts and expert advice too, especially on the labor issues. I have sent my draft to my email group with international readership, and some suggested that I send it to various papers worldwide to gain sympathy too. For now, I can't post the letter here, but would surely do once it's finally posted in our daily paper here. I'm afraid too, that the great amount of emotion in it would make my letter very please, suggest expressions to use. I can send privately a copy to anyone who can help improve it.  Thank you, thank you! Doumo!  :-*

Use and Misuse / Where do we find Technical Editing Softwares?
« on: October 26, 2009, 01:49:38 PM »
I know there are some other editors lurking here. Friends, could you please suggest sites or softwares that could be useful in technical editing? Editing technical English could be worrisome especially if you do not have enough background of the specialized field the article or paper talks about. We struggled translating some nurses review materials and caregiver's study manuals lately, but good that we were able to find a US registered nurse to help us in editing; there were not so many hands available to translate. Now comes a new job copyediting a thesis in Ophthalmology. What medical softwares do you use for medical terms? Do you know of any university in the Philippines that offers any medical courses online (just certificate courses) that could give some background for us whose degrees are non-medical? This is what is currently in demand in Japan. There is a need for doctors to translate their work into English but there are not so many translators or technical editors available. I think, universities in our country must begin to offer new courses that would address the growing needs of our global society. There is no need to leave the Philippines to get a job that reaches world-wide; online courses would click if you have the resources and marketing mechanisms. And because Phil pay standard is much lower, enterprising Phil. professors could win more learners who are financially challenged  ::).

What could you suggest to "beginning editors" (or aspiring translator like me) to be able to get most of the good-paying technical translating/editing job?

Wow! Sir Joe, I can't believe you are giving all these test questions free of charge  :o! Preparing questions is laborious. I think I can explain the reasons (for the usage of the correct answers, and reasons why other options could not be considered). What if I reproduce copies of these for my teacher trainees? Would you give us permission? I will always acknowledge your authorship, of course. I want to record my explanations of the usage so learners could easily access them online. Too sad, we cannot order your books due to high shipping fees. When I visit home next year, I promise to get enough books for all of us. Meantime, I would like to compile these exercises and then make a handout ( I'd like you to charge me a small fee for your permission, so I won't feel so guilty of adopting your materials...very small fee, ok  ;D).

It's almost winter here now, so lots of sickness can't be contained; H1N1 flu and other perennial illnesses are attacking children.  :'(

Use and Misuse / Quick Spanish Question for you, Hill
« on: October 24, 2009, 12:20:03 AM »
I'm sorry for this Grammar question...not in English but Spanish. Hill, could you kindly help me translate these sentences? A Spanish writer wrote about our town as one of those badly affected by the recent typhoons, and we are translating his original Spanish article published in their local journal to our vernacular community blog.

What does this mean in English?
"Ante este panorama, la preocupacion es evindente entre los vecinos afectados. Senor Reyes destaca la falta de recursos para contruir las infraestructural danadas.

Muchisimas gracias, Hill.

Use and Misuse / What's the Best way to Teach Grammar?
« on: September 19, 2009, 04:08:06 PM »
Here's asking the help of teachers and teaching enthusiasts out there... Considering the grammar proficiency and needs of our students today, what is the best way of teaching grammar? There are some issues in the teaching of grammar in the SLA perspective, ranging from not teaching grammar at all to teaching only grammar, etc. Please share your thoughts and reasons for advocating one or more methods/techniques in developing grammar skills in second-language speakers.

Consider the following issues I summarized from Rod Ellis' article-Current Issues in Teaching Grammar:
1. Grammar should not be taught. We should simply create the conditions by which learners learn naturally.
2. What grammar should we teach?
3. Teach grammar when learner firs start to learn L2.
4. Wait until later when learners have acquired some linguistic competence.
5. Grammar taching should be massed (within a short period)
6. Grammar teaching should be distributed; spread over a longer period.
7. Grammar should be intensive (covering single grammar structure).
8. Grammar teaching should be extensive (covering many structures in one lesson)
9. Grammar should be taught in separate lessons.
10. Grammar should be integrated into communicative activities.

Madgirl09 studying seriously

Lounge / Negative denotations of the word "Filipina"
« on: September 07, 2009, 07:39:45 AM »
Hello Joe,

Oh, this reminds me.....I've been wanting to ask you this question, Joe...."what are the connotations of the word- Filipina, compared to the phrase "Filipino woman"? I think my knowledge is obsolete. In the Philippines, more than a decade ago, the last time my angry band of women was talking about the word "Filipina" in the context of the English word "Filipino", we were on to something like blog making to correct the "negative meaning" attached to it by a certain dictionary. What has happened to that issue ? Do many internet sites still use this term to mean that "negative meaning"? Is the word "Filipina" a Tagalog word but now has been included in the English dictionary? Please enlighten me. offense meant on this post, but I am really confused. not-so-mad-girl09

Having worked in schools in the Philippines for 13 years and having dealt with groups of students from four other countries including Japan, I would basically describe Filipino students as one of the best learners in the world, with abilities and skills comparable even to those in advanced countries. The fact that our skilled workers and professionals are hired in various parts of the world tells much of what our people can do and can further achieve if given enough funds, facilities, and materials to excel in science and other intellectual researches. It is just sad that our nation is still impoverished despite the potentials of our people, and that our national programs continue to focus on other issues instead of pouring more attention to education. In most cases, quality education is unaffordable in the Philippines. When would we realize that having a well-educated citizenry equates to a speedy economic recovery and a stable society?

Majority of the Filipino workers who arrived in Japan in the eighties had difficulties entering or finishing school in the Philippines either owing to poverty or truancy. Over the ten years of my stay in Japan, more than half of the 20 women I met here in my town alone did not have a college education and many had not even finished high school. Yet, despite their limited education, their abilities and skills at hard work (such as handling machinery, doing factory jobs and construction work, running laundry shops, and preparing lunch boxes) are usually better and so are preferred by their employers. Until recently, their status was quite an assurance for a continuing job. Although odd jobs like these difficult and not stable, not covered by health and security insurances, and unprotected by the government, many of our people prefer to endure the difficulties and lack in services because after all, the conditions here for these jobs are still much better than what they would have if they were working in the Philippines.

Entertainers and factory workers get stuck to where they are now because continuing education is usually not provided to non-Japanese; also, with the meager income they get, vocational and college education here is far from affordable to them. If only our high school graduates possessed other vocational skills, near-native English abilities, and business entrepreneurship qualities, it would be easier for them to shift to more rewarding jobs. On the other hand, because a college degree here is considered a big credential, Filipinos in Japan who possess a degree have more choices in acquiring office or white-collar jobs.

But there is some hope for our marginalized people here, particularly in finding temporary or permanent jobs in areas that the local citizens here find difficult to fill, such as English teaching and care-giving. Professional nurses from the Philippines have just arrived here, but if they fail their board exams in Japan, some of them may just end up teaching English in a few years time. Filipino degree-holders here are now attracted to join English teaching now that the native English speakers like the Americans, British, and Canadians are finding the big cuts in salaries caused by the difficult economic conditions here as a signal to shift to a high-paying position.

Indeed, the recent economic downturn here prompted many of our Filipino workers who had been laid off from their technical jobs to shift to new lines of service. In particular, five Filipino women in my neighborhood have just started their three-month care-giving courses, engineers whose contracts have just ended are now considering getting themselves trained to become English teachers, and other working and nonworking women here have embarked on a series of English-teaching trainings. There is a need for a complete overhaul of skills among them. Since English is not a native tongue to many, it has to be relearned and mastered by the Filipinos here if they we wish to be retained as language teachers in Japan. It must be kept in mind that the obsession here to learn English from native English speakers is prevalent.

The conditions that Filipinos are currently experiencing in Japan could be an eye-opener to our educators, government and local schools back in the Philippines. How do we mold the citizens to acquire skills in various fields in order to survive economic recessions, competition at work, and changes in job locations? How do we provide the Filipino OFWs in Japan who have no mastery of Nihongo, particularly kanji, with opportunities to take studies that are available only to the Nihongo-proficient?

My own little effort as seminar lecturer and simple teacher here may not achieve much considering the huge need of Filipinos for further education and training. For instance, the Filipino nurses who have just arrived here are beginners in Japanese, which is the language used in the board exams that they need to take in the future. How many years should they spend to master the language so they can become successful fulltime workers?

If Japan is to be another main destination for our workers, teachers, nurses, caregivers, and other workers in the Philippines, then at least our public high schools to begin with should teach them to acquire enough mastery of Nihongo and Japanese culture before coming to Japan. So many other thing need to be considered to make more Filipinos truly viable for employment in Japan, but these few suggestions should suffice for now.

Your Thoughts Exactly / More Practice
« on: May 23, 2009, 02:06:33 PM »
Yes, that's right. That's what I need. Thanks for inviting me to this forum as there's no more need for a close friend to come by and point out my common mistakes. The articles here are eye-opening enough, reminders for me to keep in my everyday life. Though there is no great pressure at work to speak perfect English, the guilt of making mistakes haunts me even at bedtime. Dear Grammar and style doctor, what do we do to improve our speaking and writing abilities?

I have been trying to contribute to some association journals for many years now, and I noticed how effective the hobby is to improving my writing style. My chosen essay topics range from gardening, mothering, traveling and managing stress in life. Short stories just talked about my everyday observations in my new cultural society. It's just nice to hear some people say that they've read my articles and enjoyed my narrations. You must be so happy here too always receiving good remarks for your writing, Mr. Carillo. I'd like to say that you are my idol  ;).

My question now is---how do we "earn" at the same time try to improve our writing skills? I am quite confused whether to continue with my " odd writing" or not. I confess, I have started writing some romance short stories (well, not just romance, but super romance...ero....) to just a few readers hoping I could improve my description style, adding suspense and correctly positioning the climax... ;D    Oh I'm so sorry. I just realized that this writing exercise is risky but surely catches the target audience's attention.Now, my problem is, they keep clamoring for more  :o.

Could you recommend a good writer for this genre?

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