McEachern’s observations re our language attitudes

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 8:19 AM
From: “ched arzadon” <ched.arzadon@gmail.com>
To: TEDloop@yahoogroups.com, MLE-Philippines@yahoogroups.com

The articles, “Diversity shock“, “Quest for a multi-culture“, “Losing the mother tongue“, “Customer is always right, right?“, “Kankana-ey being replaced by Iloko?”, and “No longer cool to speak IloKo?“, were forwarded to me by Atty Manuel Faelnar. I found out later that they were written by Firth McEachern, a young Canadian Harvard graduate who is presently stationed at La Union. I don’t normally look kindly at outsiders/foreigners who criticize us. But I would take this one as an exception because I know that the writer’s intention is not to put us down but to help us by denaturalizing things that we thoughtlessly do or say on a daily basis.

The articles should make us (especially Ilocanos) pause and ponder.  I used to think (quite to my shame) that a language is just a commodity that we can use, replace or dispose of. It was actually not too long ago that I came to realize that my language is a major part of my soul and identity. And so when I let go of my language, a part of me dies too. This is the other side of MTBMLE which is not simply an instrumental view of language as something that mediates learning, but something that defines who we are.

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