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Stop, Look, and Makinig!

Remember the infamous and viral line on facebook? ‘’Listen Look and Listen and Learn, the Truth Will Set Be Free.’’ This is something we do not want to hear from our learners when they are expressing themselves.

The objective of this piece is to entice teachers especially in elementary to use native language in explaining English grammar, which is known as duolingo, which means dual language. It is a dual language instruction in which learners are taught literacy and English grammar in two languages, one of the best and cool ways to learn the second language. This is not to provide you technical answer as to how effective the same through studies and research however we all know from the fact that learning English language is really challenging and difficult especially when the first language, Filipino, is solely used and English is barely used at home.

As a result, our learners have a hard time learning the English language. Moreover, the difficulty in learning complicated grammar rules is much more tedious. As educators one of our great fears is that such frail foundation in English language may be brought to high school and from high school to college by the learners, not knowing the grammar rules and having the difficulty learning English grammar for the reason that they were unable to fully comprehend during their elementary years.

Thus, I aim to entice educators to give the elementary learners a strong foundation in English grammar rules by teaching our learners in a simple way of understanding the rules in English grammar to be able to speak and write grammatically correct sentences through the use of native language our learners first acquired.

There is an alarming issue of learners going to high school without a strong foundation and knowledge of English grammar rules, hence, there is a need to have a complete understanding of the rules in the early stage since the grammar rules are written in English which may be difficult for elementary learners who are non-native English speakers, especially in public schools, to comprehend. I believe that the use of the native language in teaching English grammar rules is way more effective since the explanation is easily understood by those who are not accustomed to speaking English.

Dual language instruction is not new in western countries especially in the United States. They have Dual language programs that foster bilingualism to enhance awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages.

In dual language instruction, the English lessons are taught and assessed in two languages; mother tongue and English, from which our leaners may develop academic skills in their native language. Often, majority of learners in a class consist of non-English speakers and the others consist of English speakers. If a teacher uses the native language to teach the lesson in English, the learners who are English speakers will have an opportunity to learn the native language.

This article includes excerpt from the module that this writer created bearing the same duo-lingo principle as a framework.

Article Written by:

Mark John G. Ortiz

San Juan Elementary School - Teacher III


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