In an ordinary classroom discussion of an English class, students often request that they would be allowed to express their ideas using their first language – Filipino or Minasbate when asked by their teacher to speak or recite. This is a common scenario in the classroom which has become a problem to English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers because not only does it affect the flow of the discussion, but also, it allows the learners not to give importance to the English language.
The Philippines is the largest English speaking country in Asia, making it the ideal destination for people of neighboring countries who aspire to learn English. Koreans, Japanese, Middle Eastern and even Indians are visible in the country due to this reason.
But in the classroom setting, high school learners are seemingly having difficulties in learning the language. This is noted due to the fact that most discussions are done using the vernacular or dialect. These are the factors affecting the decline of the English communication skills of the Filipinos: mobile and online games, inefficiency of the classroom facilitators or teachers and students’ low self-esteem.
Students nowadays are hooked to mobile and online games that they no longer have time to read. Since reading is an outstanding way to learn English, if a student fails to make it as a habit, it will result to his inability to master the language.
Another reason is the inefficiency of the classroom facilitator or the teacher. It is important that the teacher possesses the necessary skills so he or she can transfer it to his/her students. One cannot give what one does not have. To be able to teach the students, the teacher must become an ideal facilitator of teaching-learning process.
It is also noted that when a student has low self-esteem, it prevents him/her to perform well in class. It makes him/her avoid speaking in a crowd or writing a splendid composition because he/she lacks confidence. Filipinos are naturally fault-finders especially when it comes to grammar, so the tendency is to avoid it for a fear of becoming the subject of others’ mockery.
We must prove that we, Filipinos are excellent English speakers and writers. And we can only do this if we enhance every student’s oral and written skills. Therefore, English Teachers must become vigilant and resourceful in enhancing the learners’ ability to master the language.
Published and owned by: Hilda D. Lozada- Head Teacher III, MNCHS