Imagine our classrooms with less and less students that are capable of expressing themselves in English? The teachers may be tempted translate everything in Filipino and end up teaching and learning English the Tagalog way. The 40 minute to an hour class will be doubled and in effect, it becomes time consuming for teachers to deliver a lesson. It doesn’t only apply to English subject but to other subjects like Science and Math, among others. If this continues, what would our future classrooms be like? Observers might think English has become an extension language area for Filipino subject when there’s a few who can articulate their thoughts in English and opt for translations instead. It is a challenge for each English teacher to renew the interest of the learners to use English as a second language for three good remarkable reasons.
One reason why teachers in English should revive the interest of the students to continue exerting effort in learning English is its future usability. It is a well-known fact that these kids will soon come of age and penetrate the real world. The real world I speak of is the one outside of the four corners of their classroom. The task is not about learning perfect English but making sense of how the second language can be utilized to advance their status in the professional world. Evidently, good oral communication in English plays a huge part in creating a positive and confident image among peers and the “higher ups”. The students should be able to realize the importance of learning how to express themselves in English as they will eventually use the same language in representing their ideas and beliefs with other people. At this early, they should already be advised that those who can’t meet up with the challenge of doing an oral interview lose their chance of getting hired for any work or promotion related tasks.
Another reason why the need for sustaining inquisitiveness among students should be tapped to learn English is its advantage for clarity in forming ideas or opinions using written examinations. For most of the written tests in English, writing good essays have always been a requirement for evaluating one’s competence, credibility, and knowledge about topics or issues being discussed. If a student has a clear grasp of English then topics of whatever nature will never be a problem for him to write about. Moreover, writing ideas in English becomes favourable only to those who can effectively combine meaningful words to powerful sentences- and from these sentences one can organize his thoughts into different paragraphs that are able to describe, narrate, form opinions, among others. Good paragraphs will then lead to better essays, if not best essays.
The last reason why students should be encouraged to enjoy learning English is its adaptability to the most social media our kids nowadays are exposed of, including print, t.v., music, and networking sites. Kids listen to pop and rap songs, watch foreign films, read articles, and post stats- all in English. Concurrently, if our young people know and understand very well what they are exposed to, then it would be easier for teachers and other older people to teach discipline, responsibility, and good judgment. They would be more discerning of what’s right and what’s wrong to indulge in. They will have the discipline to choose which sites to open and use as alternative learning medium as they listen to good music, watch and critic quality films, and read human interesting stories. They will also be able to nurture in them the responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of different issues affecting their lives. Finally, good judgment of what to post and how to say it will be a clear benchmark of their wisdom and understanding. Facebook and Twitter, among others, will have better and more substantial posts for all of us to relish as they are devoid of profanity and stupidity coming from our young kids.
Some young people when given the chance to get a copy of this paper might just ignore this editorial. They will think that it’s a complete waste of time to read this piece of crap. Little did they know that when they read this, this “crap” they call would somehow enlighten them how learning English can be very helpful to them. It might be true that learning English can be very uninteresting or boring, but if only kids would know the benefits they would get from exerting more efforts to learn the language, then they would begin to find English as easy, enjoyable, and effective language subject.
Learning a second language like English is as tough as it may seem. Even native speakers create syntax errors. How much more for second language speakers like us? No one can claim learning English in its perfection. But the young Filipino learners should be encouraged to start practicing and using English, ether written or oral. The more time they are compelled to maximize the use of the language, the more opportunities they get to hone and improve it. However, the challenge is not only confined with the learners, but also with the teachers who use English as a medium of instruction inside the classroom. English teachers, like me, should also find more interesting ways to teach English in a manner that is fun and motivating for the kids. Together, let us bring this country to optimum second language literacy!