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Setting Language

Education and Literature


Goals

Introduction
In the teaching of languages in the Philippines, there is a problem of
setting or maintaining standards for both Filipino and English.
For Filipino, which is in the process of standardization and
differentiation between the spoken and the written variety, and
within these different varieties, the developing styles, there is a
problem not only of choices, but of descriptions of choices, which do
not exist.
For Philippine English, it is a question of English as opposed to the
other standardized varieties of English, especially Standard American
English; the controversy continues as to whether or not Philippine
English has indeed been standardized.

After the choice of standard, under the general objective of


communicative competence, one must specify further: What degree
of competence is desired in terms of mastery of structure and of
language arts and skills?
The use of management by objectives as a strategy for attaining
ones goals and its utility for measuring ones attainment of targets
are discussed.

Preliminary Needs Analysis


needs analysis

A preliminary step prior to setting ones


goals in an educational program for
teaching language

In determining specific needs, both immediate and long-term, one


must take into account the present situation of the clientele or
learners, the functions and activities which call for the use of a
language, the speech acts which they have to perform with the
target language, the typical situations of a social kind in which they
will find themselves needing to use the language either in its oral or
written phase, the kinds of activities which will be demanded of
them in using the language, the specific topics which they will have
to deal with and hence, the register of the language, and the degree
of competence that will meet basic communication needs.

One has to narrow down ones specific goals and tailor them to the
constraints of the language learning situation and the time available
to the learner, based on his situation and his own self-determined
goals.
A typology of language situations will thus have to be used: the
communication interaction that these situations will call for based on
certain guesses and predictions and perhaps actual empirical
observation, the types of verbal exchanges that have to be
completed, the variety of the language to be used, and the inventory
of structures which will be called for.
Several types of instruments can then be developed based on these
perceived needs, differing more or less according to detail. They
typically consist of checklists of structures and skills to be attained
as well as scales on degree of attainment which will constitute the
targets.

SPAM
It is an acronym used by a colleague (Justin Lucian, FSC) with
pleasant connotations for Philippine tastes, is the trade name for a
meatloaf much prized during the shortages of the Japanese
Occupation
These are goals for any kind of programming. Mention has already
been made of the detailed specification that must be laid down in
terms of concepts, attitudes, and skills.
In language education, concepts will include not merely concepts of
grammar but actual structures (phonology or sound system, lexicon
or vocabulary, sentence structure or syntax or traditional grammar,
and an added element, structures of linguistic units larger than the
sentence or discourse grammar) and skills of listening, reading,
speaking, and writing.

Pertinent refers to a presumably necessary quality, since


whatever goal or sub-goal is set up must relate to and
contribute to the overall mastery of the above specifications.
What must be aimed for has to be pertinent to the overall
targets.
The question of pertinence constitutes one of the major
problems of the English for Specific Purposes class, for in
some of the materials which have come out on Business
English, for example, it is not clear whether the class is a
language class since the materials resemble those of a
bookkeeping class.
In the Philippines, several generations of Filipinos were
schooled reading Silas Marner, David Copperfield,
Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, and
Macbeth

Attainable
Here one can question the attainability of a perfectly balanced
bilingual which has sometimes been set down as the perfect endproduct of a bilingual education program in the Philippines, or the
goal of a Standard American English pronunciation for Filipinos
through a whole panoply of phonetic drills and tongue-twisters,
beginning with minimal pairs of phonemes, phrases to be imitated,
intonation patterns to be mastered, and rhetorical directions
required in the usual speech classes in the 1950s and 1960s.
The feature that most goals lack is measurability: the goals
should be stable in terms of observed behaviors that are
measurable
The target of attainment makes overall summative evaluation
simpler since it is then easier to pinpoint and evaluate whether or
not targets have been attained as the objective has been translated
into a definite measure.

Concepts, Attitudes, and


Skills
What is to be learned..
concepts

content

Blooms Taxonomy

literary
basic concepts,
working principles, canons criticism
of procedure or
evaluation
techniques and of standards, logics specific to certain
synthesis
disciplines including
the accepted mode of argumentation
based on a dominant paradigm.
analysis
application
comprehension
knowledge

When
In language
formallearning,
grammarespecially
is taught in
at the
higher
goallevels,
of communicative
the concepts
competence,
and
structures
while
eventually
one must
become
nor parrot
more sentence
abstract and
patterns,
call for
one also
skills
of analysis.
does not spend much time thinking about language
either but instead uses it.
What is necessary to emphasize is that at lower levels, in the
language
At higher arts,
levelsone
of language
must go beyond
use, where
knowledge
the functions
and and
skills of listening,
comprehension
goals
reading,
as soon
speaking,
as possible
and writing
to aim for
arehigher
considered,
order
cognition
in addition
even when
to language
the linguistic
skillsstructures
and cognitive
being
skills,
used
one relatively
are
needs to deal
simple
with
at concepts
the discourse
and principles
level.
and modes of
reasoning used in scientific discourse which call for the higher
order skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Much neglected in educational planning are attitudes toward:

Concepts are easy enough to teach, skills are


by creative
and realistic
practice,
but and
a. learned
the language
being learned:
as a function
of its status
attitudes
are more
difficult
to teach
to beits role as
role and prestige
or lack
of prestige
in theor
society,
lingua franca
a linguistic symbol
of national
unity,
its less
acquired,
theortechnology
for instilling
these
are
status as an intellectualized language;
sure.
b. the people and the culture represented by the language:
whether the language is a second or foreign language;
c. its utility: whether the use be economic, cultural, or even
social and romantic;
d. the mode of teaching the language and its place in the
curriculum: whether imposed, whether competing with
another language, whether taught well and creatively.

The Problem of Standards


and Philippine English
In learning a foreign language, there is no problem about standards.
Frenchman

Peace Corps volunteer

(P) English

English

Filipino

Received Pronunciation of
British English or
Standard American
English
Manila lingua franca of Ernesto
Constantino (1981) and Geruncio
Lacuesta (1967)

Second
Language

The problem that faces the language planner and programmer is which
standard to adopt, especially for pronunciation.

int
ce

f
I
L
I
P
I

Another related controversy that the


English programmer must face is whether
or not to condone, encourage, discourage,
orAfter
eventhe
penalize
the use
of Thomasites
returned
to the United

States, except for key superintendents and


the secretary of Public Instruction, the staff
had become Filipino, speaking their own
The standardization
ofmanifesting
Filipinized variety
of English and
erferen
is first
ongoing
and is
the accentsFilipino
of their
languages
I
by no means fixed, as it
c o d e Sw i t c h i n g
becomes the national
M
lingua franca and
Its
use
as
a
way
of gaining
with an
s
becomes
morerapport
influenced
audience or ofby
showing
solidarity among
friends
other languages
in
cannot seem to
be prevented
but has become
non-Tagalog
urban
acceptable and
even encouraged in the mass
centers.
media.

Less controversial is the lexicon, where local calques and


indigenous terms and turns of phrase are accepted, together
with local idioms of American English collocations

Degrees of Competence and


Threshold Levels
The first threshold level would seem to be basic
communicative
competence
in English,
sufficient
toEk &
Tentatively,
and subject
to further
empirical
verification,
Van
attempted
to
identify
an
initial
threshold
level
for basicone
Tentatively,
and
subject
to
further
empirical
verification,
one
be
ablefor
to
learn elementary-level
can
carry
on basic
Inmust
setting
global
goals
and
macroobjectives,
aim
successive
levels
of competence
or thresholds
to
Lingan
Alexander
(1975)
communicative
competence
in a non-Tagalog
area
for
must
aim
for
successive
levels
of
competence
or
thresholds
Lingan
communication
in with
English
in second
Philippine
society, aas one goes to
They
have
given
(1981)
be
able
to
do
things
the
language
Pilipino
and
arrived
at
a
range
of
2.5
to
5.5
years as
it would
probably
be
more
useful
to
think
in goes
(1981)
putative
level
which
must
be
specified
in
terms
of
details
of
what
this
be
able
to
do
things
with
the
second
language
as
one
One
suspects
that
at
the
tertiary
level,
one
reaches
a
necessary
for its attainment
in ainschool
setting
through
these
thresholds
attained
aactivities
formal
schooling
functions
and is
basic
situations
as(specified
wellprocedures
as
threshold
through
these
thresholds
in
a
formal
terms
stage
of
these
of level
abstraction
thresholds
wherebyattained
formal
by
of schooling
situation.
These
are the
usual
stages by which most Filipinos
using
English.
supposed
to
be,
preceded
analysis,
synthesis,
and
evaluation
are by
carried
outmost Filipinos
situation.and
These
are the
usual
stages
which
concepts
skills
and
realized
by
certain
learn
English.
now bywith
whatthe
is called
the
specific
language,
procedures,
logic and
learn
English.
The next
stage would
be
the
stage
of secondary
He
posits
a more
waystage.
argumentation
the to
discipline.
typesschool,
of structures
in ofthe
language),
rather
roughly
corresponding
Piagets stage of
advanced threshold
operations,
when one
must do abstract
than toformal
focus
on merely
structural
and skills
level
of
competence
thinkingattempted
in English something
with regardsimilar
to quantification
for English and tentatively
objectives.
where
one
is able to culturally
when
one must
beyond
knowledge
and
arrived
at 2.5go
years
of schooling
in Manila-type
Gonzalez
do
things
with
comprehension
questions
science
into
application
stimulating
schoolsinand
one year
later (3.5)
in less affluent
and,
subsequently,
analysis,
synthesis,
language.
schools
outside of
Manila(Los
Baos)and
evaluation.
Cummins (1981)

Pedagogical Grammar
These include the following:
the components of the sound system and their
combinatorial rules (phonological rules); the lexicon with its
panoply of rather complicated semantic and grammatical
notes;
the syntax or rules of sentence formation and, if one
subscribes to the necessity of a transformational generative
component, rules for transformations;
the templates for developing various forms of discoursenarrative, expository, hortatory, descriptive including
procedural; and
the sociolinguistic rules which accompany the use of certain
forms.

The Literary Canon


In specifying the learning of content in literature, the literature
programmer must be familiar with current attempts at arriving at a
canon of literary pieces to which Filipino youth should be exposed:
literature in Filipino, vernacular literature in Filipino translation,
Philippine literature in English.
Gruenberg (1988) has suggested a procedure to arrive at such a
canon and has come up with a putative list.
Cruz and Gruenberg (1988) convened different scholars of Filipino and
other Philippine vernaculars to arrive at a canon of Filipino literature,
with a tentative list now available from DECS.

Management by
Objectives
management by
management by
objectives
objectives

Philippines

a technique in management
whereby direction is given to an
entire institution, including
multinational corporations with a
worldwide network of branches

educational goal setting

language

literature