Tag Archive | Ched Arzadon

Filipino English and the Acquistion of a Cosmopolitan Identity

By Ched Arzadon

I’ve been thinking a lot about Manong Resty’s post below. Yes, why did nobody raise the issue that the base language of Filipino was not identified in the Constitution? Was it intended (to avoid further debates) or there was just no linguist around? Maybe it is a blessing that it was not identified so that we can reinterpret from a pedagogical and global perspective.

I think the learning of Filipino (as intended in the Constitution) can provide the space for the acquisition of a cosmopolitan identity. This would resonate with the oft expressed sentiment of parents that they want their children to be “globally competent.” Oftentimes this explains the reason that some oppose MTBMLE (in one area, the parents went to bombo radyo to raise their complaint about the use of MT in school)

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From Ched Arzadon: Our Peripatetic MLEr

Nothing amps up our heartbeats more than a meaty report from Prof. Ched Arzadon, our trusty, energetic MLE activist-reporter out there. Here’s her latest:

Davao City, 06 Sep 2011


I brought my 2 MA classes (UP College of Education), about 20 students, to Davao last September 4-6 to visit MLE and ALS classes in Tagum City and Davao City. They learned a lot and were so inspired with what we saw—-big and small books, primer, posters and instructional materials all in the local language. What encouraged them most was to see the very enthusiastic teachers and the most zealous of them, their division MLE Coordinator, Ms. Allen Guillaran. ALS department provided us the ride and while travelling and having lunch with ALS people, Ms. Allen kept on “preaching” about MLE to them. One mobile teacher who was working with the Higaonon community for adult basic literacy was convinced and said she would like to know how to create a primer for their ALS program.

I was really fascinated with Ms. Guillaran especially when she said that for 25 years she served as an English teacher and later as the English Program Supervisor for Tagum. It troubled her that students, though they can decode English text, couldn’t comprehend meaning and so when she learned about MLE she embraced it instantly. She tried thinking of a word to describe her experience and then she blurted, “It’s like being born again! And I am now repenting from what I did thru MTBMLE.” She is like a third generation MLE “convert.” She was trained by Mrs. Nini Del Rosario (another MLE champion) and her team who were trained in that 40-day training of trainers by Rose Villaneza and others who attended the MLE course at Payap University (Thailand) two years ago.

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How To Have A Guilt-Free Life Using Cantonese In The English Class


Dr. Martin

On Friday, January 28, 2011, Dr. Isabel Pefianco Martin of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, relayed an email to Ched Arzadon, et al., which email was promptly relayed to MTBMLE/Talaytayan Group. It called attention to an article about teaching English using Cantonese. Dr. Martin wrote that “This is something that I’d really like to work on soon–teaching English using the mother tongue. I haven’t read the handbook yet, but I thought you might want to do so first.” To help shed light on where Dr. Martin is coming from, I recommend to the reader to check Dr. Martin’s commentary, “Fearing English in the Philippines“, published more than two years ago in the Inquirer. For the reader’s information, “Fearing English in the Philippines” drew a rebuttal from Dean Jorge Bocobo of Philippine Commentary on April 16, 2008, and the rebuttal itself generated a number of comments.

Well, here’s the English-using-Cantonese article:

How To Have A Guilt-Free Life Using Cantonese In The English Class

By Merrill Swain, Andy Kirkpatrick, and Jim Cummins

In Hong Kong, English language teachers are urged to use English “in all English lessons and beyond:    teachers should teach English through English and encourage learners to interact with one another in English” (Curriculum Development Council, 2004, p. 109).

So, it is not surprising that teachers of English in Hong Kong feel a sense of guilt every time they use Cantonese in their English classes. How many times have English teachers (particularly teachers-in-training) been warned that Cantonese must not be used in English classes? How many times have English teachers been told that every time Cantonese is used, an opportunity for students to learn English is lost? And how often do English teachers (guiltily) use Cantonese in spite of these warnings?Our goal in writing this brief “guidebook” for the use of Cantonese (L1) when teaching English (L2) is to rid English teachers of their guilt! Students’ L1 is not an enemy to the development of high levels of English.    Cantonese, used judiciously in the English classroom, can serve to scaffold English language learning.

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2010 MLE Initiatives: A Review

It’s always heartwarming to learn about the initiatives of our fellow educators and MLE advocates to promote the use of the local language in education. For example during the MLE Conference in CDO last February, I was so amazed to see how DepEd Region 4-A and Region 5 filled up the whole room assigned to them with books and instructional materials they made in the local languages. The Lubuagan and the Valenzuela City teachers also displayed a lot of their own original works. Continue reading

MLE launching for Region 7

Ched Arzadon

On November 6, 2010, Ched Arzadon wrote:

Above are links to two newspaper articles re the MLE launching for Region 7 which was held last Friday, November 4, 2010 at Ecotech Center, Cebu. I was fortunate to witness the event organized by Akademiyang Bisaya Inc (ABI). It was their 2nd founding anniversary and it was also the endorsement of their English-Cebuano dictionary, Alphabet, Spelling and Grammar book for MLE use.

Akademiyang Bisaya Inc (ABI) is made up of Cebuano writers, HEI educators, DepEd officials, local government officials and other concerned citizens. Before ABI was organized, there were only writers groups like the Ludabi and other Cebuano language advocate groups led by Mayor Sitoy of Cordova and college professors like Dr. Jess Tirol who uses the Cebuano language in teaching engineering and math subjects. However, when DepEd Order 74 s2009 “Institutionalizing Mother Tongue Based Multilingual Education” came out, these writers groups and various advocate groups joined forces with those in the education sector in order to provide support to the MLE policy.

Once there were four irreconcilable groups asserting their own Cebuano alphabet and spelling but for the purpose of promoting MLE, these groups worked (and debated) hard to reach a consensus so that there will be a standard Cebuano orthography to be used in the classrooms. Now it would be easier to write children’s stories and other instructional materials to be used for MLE pilot schools. I was truly inspired with the humility of their members (though men and women of high stature) to serve the needs of DepEd’s MLE program. During the event, Dr. Ricaredo Borgonio, the DepEd regional director and his team, gave an exhaustive presentation about DO 74 and how it would be implemented in Region 7. It would be great if every DepEd regional official would have that sense of vision and ownership.

This is the 2nd local launching of a regionwide MLE strategy. The first one was held last August 26 for Region 8 at Leyte Normal University, Tacloban City. The next one will be held next month for Region 5 and Region 1. If you plan to launch your own MLE strategy, please let us know.

On November 13-23, we will be conducting the second phase of MLE Trainers Training to be held at Iloilo City. The first phase was conducted at Tagaytay City last September (the participants were DepEd regional trainers not selected UP teachers as reported by Cebu Daily News). The trainers group is going to complete the MLE curriculum adaptation plans and their corresponding teachers guides. One of their tasks is to develop stories for pre-school and grade 1 using the local languages.

Ched Arzadon

In a related development, 170+ Talaytayan MLE sent this email on November 7, 2010:

Here’s an insightful article:  “Bisdak tongue” by Sofia Logarta Madilena de la Cerna, Inquirer Global Nation.  Bisdak means Bisaya Dako or Great Bisaya. The writer rues about the fact that MLE is implemented only in public schools.  She should be informed that DepEd Order No. 74 s2009 does not limit the implementation in public schools alone. The policy covers both public and private schools.

By the way, there is a private school for rich kids in Teachers Village where they use English as primary MOI (since that is the predominant L1) but they also teach Tagalog as L2. It is like the heritage language courses being offered to immigrants in the US.  I hope there is a private school in Cebu that would dare to use Cebuano in school.