English Essay By Filipino Author Barbie Research For Essay
If you know the feeling of rage turning into tears that do not fall, you can guess how I felt when one of my students answered “boys” upon being asked what the verb was in the sentence “The boys go to school every day.” To say that our students’ knowledge of the English language has deteriorated is a gross understatement.
The first, and the most crucial, reason for their bad English is their negative attitude today toward the language.
Whenever I ask someone to speak in front of the class, some of the students give one another meaningful looks, or make faces at their classmate who is speaking. They don’t realize that whenever they sneer by words or facial expressions—“Pa-Ingles-Ingles pa! ”—they discourage their classmates from using the language for fear of being ostracized.
So let us follow this simple guide: If you cannot teach the students proper English, do not confuse them with your English.It may surprise and worry you that the trending books are not those with superb literary value, written by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and other literary giants. I find it disturbing that anyone can publish books in the Philippines without having them checked by good editors, and even sell them through reputable bookstores. So, let us not expect our students to write well if the books they are reading are full of errors.Inside the books that our students are reading these days are comma-spliced and run-on phrases, instances of incorrect subject-verb agreement and sentences that end not just with one but a whole set of punctuation marks (!?!?! What students hear also affects how they learn English.All teachers, even those who do not teach English, have to participate in the task of changing our students’ attitude toward the language.We should give them more opportunities to use English, to correct improper usage and to be proficient in the language.Even if I say “se-re-MOW-nee” (stress on the third syllable, mow) in class, my students still put the stress on the second syllable because other teachers keep pronouncing “ceremony” that way (“se-RE-moh-ni”).If there is one English teacher who uses the right pronunciation but there are seven or eight others who do not, there will be no transfer of learning in a one-hour English class.News reports tell us of errors in textbooks, especially those to be used in K-12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12).The errors can be corrected, but what is beyond our control is the students’ choice of reading materials when they are on their own.At home, many students spend hours playing computer games and logging on to Facebook and other social networking sites.The games are hardly verbal and the language in social media is often faulty.