Saturday, December 22, 2012

And The Scores Are...!!!





Yesterday, December 20, 2012, at 11 in the morning, we received the TOEIC exam results of our two students. The results are impressive.

After only a little more than a month of intensive practice, Student A's TOEIC score is now 365 points higher than his score before he came to ACE. Student B's score improved as well; the last time he took the same exam his score was 805, now it's 905. While they were opening their envelopes, my knuckles were pale and my fingertips were cold. I leaned against the wall because I didn't want anybody to notice that I was shaking. You might think I was overreacting, maybe, but if you were a school owner struggling to compete against well-funded giants and working hard to build a name,  you would feel what I had felt.



Unlike my competitors who started their schools with a lot of reserved funds and financiers, I started from a scratch. Paying people to advertise this school is therefore out of the question, so I decided long time ago to compete in the arena where I know I will reign supreme. Our school's reputation and the ability of the teachers to deliver results therefore, are our advertisement. When I started this school, I vowed to give students what they need. If it's a high TOEIC score, then so be it. TOEFL? Sure, why not?  IELTS? Okay, sit down. Let's get down to business.




I'm not claiming the credit. Excellent teachers are with me, and they have perfect TOEIC scores. These  teachers really work hard to produce the needed results. As for me, I do all the planning and administrative tasks, with the invaluable assistance of my Japanese staff. Without my staff, my ideas will never turn into realities no matter how good they are. I may be the person on top, the lone person behind the scenes, but without these fantastic people I work with, nothing will materialize.





Considering all that  I had to go through to set this school up, I am happy now that ACE is heading to the right place. And as I mentioned previously, I am not making a very big school. I am making a school  that will soon serve as the standard of other language schools in the Philippines.



And with all these results we have been producing, it is clear that we have started raising the bar.


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Little Garden--The Story Behind It





October 26 was a Friday, a holiday in the Philippines. I made up my mind to work in the garden. Well, not really a garden, just a vacant lot which is about 20 square meters where a lot of weeds grew. I even found a small anthill which I was determined to demolish, but before I could start kicking the small mound, I saw hundreds of ants scurrying everywhere, disturbed by my intrusion. Upon seeing the small red laborers, I decided to leave them alone in their kingdom, acknowledging that they had been there long before I arrived, and they have more right to stay in that vacant space than I do.



The anthill

The anthill (I took the picture from a safe distance so in this picture, it doesn't look like one)

I pulled out all the tall weeds. I snipped and snapped branches here and there.  I had blisters on my palms, countless of bruises and scars and ant bites on my arms, neck and face. (I did all my best to maintain a safe distance from the ants but they found me and attacked me.) My legs and arms and face were itchy and when I scratched them, my nails were black. Yuck. When I had pulled out all the weeds, there was nothing but the anthill. Except for it, the lot was empty but in my mind,  there were rows and rows of beautiful flowering plants and vegetables.



the plant whose name I forgot 

chrysanthemum

In the afternoon of that same day, I went to a seedling bank and purchased seeds of sunflower, chrysanthemum, marigold, zinnia, and...one more whose name I forgot. (Dear pretty flowering plant, this doesn't mean that I care for you less.  I promise to go to the seedling bank again to ask the staff what your name is. I'm sorry....) One student gave me a pack of okra seeds. Where he got them, I don't know. One of my helpers also planted ginger, parsley, onion bulbs, stems of sweet potatoes and two kinds of  spinach--- the water spinach, (not the kind that Popeye eats) and the kind whose stem is pinkish-red. We call it vine spinach, or Malabar spinach. That day  I started working in the garden at 10 in the morning and finished at 6:30.  By 6:30 in the evening,  there were five flowerbeds in the garden. I watered the beds and I smiled a smile of satisfaction, knowing that underneath the ground were those tiny sleeping seeds, being nurtured by the soft soil, waiting for the day when the warmth of the beautiful morning sun would wake them up from their deep slumber. 


okra 

onion


The garden has grown.  The okra seeds have sprouted, showing off their tiny green, leaves.  The ginger has grown some more leaves and so have the onions. The parsley has grown tiny, light-green leaves that look a little funny because they look...wrinkled!  The hardships were all worth it.



sunflower 

ginger

Indeed, growing plants from seeds is very rewarding.  Taking care of a plant from its very beginning and watching it grow until it produces flowers or fruits gives any gardener a special sense of satisfaction.



vine spinach 

parsley

While I was there, perspiring and toiling, I couldn't help but compare my small garden to ACE WORLD during the latter's beginning stages. I had nothing but my dreams. It was October 2010 and I  had not even a cent  in the bank but on my timetable, a boarding house which would eventually become a language school would be set up the following month, my birth month. Begin with the end in mind, they say. Now, this school, like my garden, is slowly but surely growing.

marigold 

sweet potato



There will always be challenges which my garden poses---how to keep the weeds and the insects away, how to nurture the vegetables and flowers to their full grandeur. In the same manner, there will always  be challenges in my school.  But with gain comes pain.



water spinach 

zinnia



I'm not young, and I have been through a lot. I'm not old either, and I still have so much to learn. Sometimes I still get scared and worried about what the future holds for me, for I am human. But with the stories behind my garden and ACE as my inspirations, I know that I will always be fearless, brave, ready to explore and face the challenge of the unknown.




our front porch 





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Thursday, October 25, 2012

What to Expect When You Enroll at ACE

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If you look at your reflection in the mirror and you see some dirt on your face, what should you do?

A. get angry, refuse to acknowledge that your face is dirty and walk away
B. clean your face

Any person in his right mind would choose B.




The fact
Sadly, some students get upset when their mistakes are corrected  by their teachers. Many students say that they know a lot of grammar rules, vocabulary items, expressions, etc.  Oh yes, we know that you know rules. If we didn't, we wouldn't expect you to use them properly, would we?  But, can you use them? If you just know them in  your mind but you can't use them properly when you speak, then you really don't know them.You may know a lot of grammar rules and thousands of words, but if you instinctively say He don't instead of He doesn't, or if you impulsively say I'm very interest your book instead of I am very interested in your book, then you are a beginner. Or, your sentence may be grammatically correct and logical, but if you look at the ceiling and  blink and blink for three  minutes before you can put what you want to say into words, then you are also a beginner. You just know the rules and words in theory, but not in practice. 

The same can be said when it comes to pronunciation. You may know all the phonetics, but if you say inhormatiom instead of information, or  dericious hood instead of  delicious food, then you don't know anything about pronunciation at all. We don't assess your English level by how many words or grammar rules or sound symbols you know.We gauge you by how well you put your knowledge into practice. 



It may sound and feel  harsh in the beginning because maybe, in the school you attended before coming to ACE, you were always told how good you were, or how excellent your pronunciation was. Well, at ACE, we don't tickle your ears. We tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Do you want us to tell you that you really are good even when you truly are not? Do you want us to tell you how excellent your pronunciation is even when it's not? In other words, do you want to spend your money, time and effort without really learning anything, without improving? Do you want us to make you believe lies? 

Of course, when you have always believed that you're good and suddenly, your teacher points out your mistakes, you may feel bad. But please don't forget that effective medicine tastes awful.



If you want to be a weightlifter, you go to the gym, and the instructor tells you that you need to lift weights to have more toned muscles. You know that by doing so, you'll have muscle pains, and this can really get inconvenient. But, you also know that the more you lift weights, the more you get used to it until finally, weightlifting becomes an easy thing and you will eventually develop thicker, bigger, stronger and toned muscles.



In the same manner, when you are learning English, don't expect to learn all you have to learn at once. Learning anything is a process. But along the process, expect to encounter some difficulties. When your teacher guides you through all these difficulties, don't get upset. If your teacher doesn't help you, who will? 



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Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 advantages of studying at ACERS

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Why ACE WORLD?

First, we have a systematic and scientific curriculum which is flexible and thus can be customized depending on the English level and purpose of the student.

Second, we have teachers here whose teaching skills have been tried, tested and proven to be effective through the years.They can teach anything to anybody. Just check their TOEIC scores, and I need not explain why.  (I am taking the TOEIC exam in December, by the way.^^)









(The school owner teaching a student using the Integrated Method) 


Third, the owners of this school did not just wake up one day and suddenly decided to set up a school. So, the immediate target of this school is to give quality English education to Japanese nationals and in the long run, improve the image of the Philippines in the world. You see, not even our closest Asian neighbors know that English is our second language here, nor do they know that we teach English here.


Fourth, we have a support class. My Japanese staff, an MBA student whose TOEIC score  is 930, gives free English grammar lessons in Japanese.  The students can thus freely ask  him questions about English grammar, and, the staff can explain the grammar rules to them in a language which they all understand.





Fifth, we strictly implement the English only policy. Even helpers speak English. This is good because the students feel that the atmosphere is really an English atmosphere.

If students stay in a place where other languages other than English are spoken, they will lose their motivation to study English. If these students study and speak English only during their classes, which lasts only 50 minutes each, they can't improve well.

In ACE, when students interact with other students and with their teachers in English, they put into practice what they learn. They use the expressions, vocabulary and grammar points they learn during classes in a natural and actual setting.

These, above all other things are some of the reasons why choosing ACE WORLD to be your partner in your English journey is one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Why not make that reservation now and check if we are what we claim we are? 


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Parthenon? Oh no, it's ACE WORLD's New Home!


It's been over a month since I updated this blog. A lot of things have happened.
Let me begin by stating that a beautiful thing does not always start in a beautiful way. For instance, before a butterfly becomes the beautiful creature that it is, it undergoes four stages---egg, larva, pupa and adult butterfly. Although the larva looks cute and innocent, it is only when it becomes an adult butterfly can we fully  appreciate its splendid beauty.  And who can forget the story of the ugly duckling that later became a very beautiful and graceful swan? Indeed, some beautiful things metamorphose from being common to being magnificent.



How are these related to ACE WORLD?


Well,  we are moving to another place soon. A quieter, bigger, cleaner, greener  place. The place ACE WORLD is occupying now is not the best place you can find in the village but that time, when I was struggling, this place was the best choice. It was the most affordable I could find. This place also witnessed how my dreams slowly turned into realities. 



This humble place silently witnessed my secret tears and fears. This place witnessed my everyday struggle especially when the complaints, demands and insults came. 



This humble place silently witnessed my joys and hopes, especially when heart-melting kindness was shown to me. "I want to teach you how to make Japanese pickles. You don't need to do anything, just sit down and watch me. You're tired. Take a rest."  "I bought this pan for you. It's my gift. You can make perfect oyakodon using this pan."  "I'm busy but I want to teach you how to make sunny side up egg correctly."  "You like sesame dressing, I went to Little Tokyo and bought this big bottle of sesame dressing for you."  "You always have problems with the water pressure, I bought this mini motor pump. You don't have to fill the tank with water anymore."  And, I will never forget the day when one guy voluntarily cemented the big hole at the back porch. He knew I could not even afford to hire a worker.


I viewed the complaints as my areas for improvement. I regarded the demands as  my motivation to work harder. I handled  insults with my head held up high, vowing to myself that I wouldn't  let anybody or anything put me down. I had nothing but my vision, and amid the difficulties that seemed insurmountable, my vision kept me pushing on. 

I treasured the acts of kindness in my heart and I contemplated on them. Those were  my rays of hope when my dreams seemed to be corroding in my very hands.


Yes, with the moving of ACE WORLD comes optimism. A bigger place means more students. The seasoned teachers I am now working with and I regularly brainstorm, looking  for ways to help our students achieve their goals.

Teaching is a challenging profession but it's a noble one. ACE WORLD climb is a slow climb, but it's a sure one.



Jollibee Foods Corporation,  the biggest fast-food chain in the Philippines,   started as an ice cream parlor in a busy street. Now, it has a lot of branches in different parts of the world.  SM, the chain of malls that boasts some of the biggest shopping malls in Asia and in the world, started as a small shoe mart (SM stands for Shoe Mart)  in a crowded area. I am  looking forward to the day when people say, "ACE WORLD Language School started as a small boarding house in a four-bedroom apartment unit in a village in Quezon City."


 Great things come from humble beginnings.





Our dearly-loved old place






Our new location---Our new hope.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Crossroads




When you  decide to go abroad to study English, you must have a strong determination. Your mind should be stronger than your emotions. 

At first, some things you've never seen in your home country will shock you. The culture is different and the way of life here is a little laid back.  The climate is almost always warm. These and other factors all contribute to the development of the lonely feeling called homesickness.



It's true, you may feel homesick sometimes. You may miss your family, your friends, your previous job and all that you left behind. Unfortunately, some students have let their homesickness get in the way of their journey. 

Try to imagine the time when you were very young. You were just a tiny, helpless creature. But as days went by you discovered the strength  of your knees, and you tried to stand up. Next, you dared to make a step forward. Your first steps were wobbly and for countless of times you stumbled and fell, and probably even got hurt. You did not give up. You did not remain slumped on the ground. You stood back up and walked again with more determined steps.  You were very happy when finally, you learned how to walk. You not only learned how to walk but also how to run, skip and jump. Had you been too scared or too disappointed to stand up and walk again, what would you be now? 



Now let's connect this to your learning English.

Sometimes you feel disappointed especially when you can't remember a very important English word. Sometimes, you get so homesick. Sometimes you think that the future looks so vague. At a certain point, students reach this point called slump. Some students fail to realize that this feeling is transitory. It's just a small part of the adjustment period. Sadly,  some choose the easy way out; they buy a plane ticket, pack their suitcase, and go back home. Still, some choose to take life a little easier by drinking and hanging out with friends.  

You may live until  you are 80 or 85. That lifespan is very long. When you go abroad, you have only six months or one year to study English. You go abroad to study English and build your future. Who can make your dreams come true? Your friends? Of course, not, so it's not wise to build your life around them as though they were the only means of your survival abroad. It's okay to have friends of course, but be choosy. If your friends don't encourage you to study hard, if they only want to hang out with you, are they really your friends? Choose friends that don't spoil your good habits.  

Life is fleeting. Once a moment is gone, it's gone. You cannot turn back time. Should you let your negative feelings defeat you, or should you be man enough to face them, get rid of them, and go on with your dreams? The choice is yours.  


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Invisible Hump




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I have here an amusing story.

Let me begin by saying that when my female student arrived here, her vocabulary was very limited. She didn't know even simple words such as toe, ceiling, eyelashes and eyebrows.  And like most students, she didn't recognize the difference between F and H, L and R, M and N, J and Z and the like.

To simultaneously develop her vocabulary, speaking and comprehension, we designed a special course for her. In the course, she is always asked to read aloud so that  we, her teachers, can "straighten up her tongue and align her jaws" right there and then. One of our first lessons was a simple reading about camels and how they survive in the desert. In the reading, she learned words and expressions such as "go without water for a long time, desert, all over its body, heat, cold, cool, hot, about 150, describe, thick, thin, eyelashes and hump.

A few weeks ago, she saw me devouring all the leftover food on the counter. Her speaking was not yet that fast but somehow, she said and I quote,  "Teacher, you eat a lot but you are very thin! Where do you put the food? Do you have a hump on your back that I cannot see?"

I laughed heartily because her joke was both  funny and witty, not to mention that it was totally unexpected.  But something  deep within me made me want to hug her. (But of course, I did not.)

It  feels good when  students practice the words, expressions and grammar points that we teach them. It feels even better when these students, like my female student, use those words and expressions correctly and from the heart because they know how the words work together , and not just mechanically.

Here at ACERS School, we produce English speakers, not parrots.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

We study English the correct way



Thanks to the wonders of Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, I got the following headlines to my blog page in a matter of  seconds!


PH soon to join 'tiger economies', claims expert



3 Philippine universities among world's best English-teaching schools

Today, these two news headlines (and articles)  brightened up my day. 

Again, I admit that my beloved country is lagging behind some Asian countries in terms of economic stability. This is a fact known to everybody. However, as the above headlines show, when it comes to English, we always manage to be on top, and this is something we take pride in. 

We are often  asked by our foreign friends how we can properly use  a language which isn't our own.  It's because we study English the correct way. Let me state, by the way, that there are only two ways to study English: the correct way and the wrong way.  

We studied English the correct way, so we are confident that we can also teach it the correct way. How do we do it? We would love to show you how.!





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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Word Collocations






Word Collocations

How many English words are there?  Nobody knows. Who can enumerate them all? Nobody can.

Another ineffective but widely-accepted  practice? Memorizing words in isolation.


It's good to memorize words. Of course. BUT, memorizing words in isolation has created another problem for English learners. They sometimes misuse those words.

When memorizing a new word, that word has to be used in a sentence within a paragraph, a text, or a short story. This helps the student  develop his ability in using context clues. Knowing word collocations is very important. 

When students memorize only words and their synonyms, they tend to  misuse the words. For example, one synonym of the word payment  is honorarium.We can say payment for the engineer's services, payment or wage for the house helper, but it's not good to say honorarium for the helper. The word trade is given as a synonym for exchange, but we don't trade email addresses, we simply exchange email addresses. Dispel means get rid of, but we don't dispel the garbage, we simply get rid of it, or throw it away.

Also, there are a lot of words that are spelled and sometimes pronounced the same but their meanings are entirely different. When we read the sentence "They are enjoying their lives", we know automatically  that the word "lives" in the sentence is the plural of life and the letter i has to be pronounced  the same way we pronounce the letter i in the word  night. But, if we see the sentence "She lives in Nagoya", we know that the  word "lives" functions as a verb and the letter i is pronounced with a short sound, similar to "gives". A student who is well-trained in using English doesn't get confused with words like these.

That  is why here at ACE WORLD we don't encourage students to memorize words in isolation. Instead, we train them how to use context clues.



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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Man and the Little Girl Part 2



The Man and the Little Girl Part 2


      The girl was exposed to actual listening, speaking and reading. That time, she had been attending a Philippine school for 2 years. The girl learned grammar through actual listening, speaking and reading a lot, that's why she was able to apply the grammar rules instinctively. She did not need to dissect the sentence to know which word would fit in the blank. The man, however, had to first study the form of the sentence and all its elements before he could figure out which word was the best answer. And may I please mention that the man started studying English in Junior High School. If we do our Math--- the man had more years of experience in learning English than the girl had, but the girl spoke English a lot more fluently than the man did, not to mention that she was a lot better in answering TOEIC questions. 

      The truth is, a lot of students spend so much time, money and effort memorizing grammar rules and words, that's why when they talk, or when they answer English questions, they mentally dissect the sentence and identify its patterns and modifiers before they answer. Learning the structure of the language is of course very good. And, there are things, such as new words and new expressions, that have to be committed to memory. But again, there has to be something that supplements all these memorized rules and new words. It has been proven so many times that knowledge of grammar, correct usage of vocabulary and even spelling are the direct results of reading. By reading, a student can also develop other skills such as making inferences, paraphrasing, rephrasing, determining cause and effect, and a lot more. Students have to be trained to concentrate on the meaning of what they hear and read, and not just to dissect sentences and enumerate grammar rules which they might not even understand. Too much memorization paralyzes the student's natural ability to process information in his brain on his own.  

     Some students I have talked to, however, raised some points. They claimed that they were trained to memorize and copy everything that their teachers said and wrote. They were not trained to speak. They were trained only to say "yes" to everything that the teacher said. They said that they just wanted to memorize and memorize and memorize and memorize more and more and more words and sentences, and that's it. They said that they're too old to change the way they study English. 

      I understand their point, and I empathize with them, but hey...can we really make another hole by digging the same hole? Can we really expect to produce a different result if we keep on using the same method? 

      Let me conclude by stating two simple rules when studying a language, particularly English: 
        1. Love, or at least like English. 
     2. Be open-minded. Just because a method is widely-used doesn't mean that it's effective.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Man and the Little Girl






The Man and the Little Girl
          

          Long time ago, when I was still working as a private tutor,  there was a foreign student (NOT Japanese) who asked me to teach him TOEIC. I answered in the affirmative, of course.  To determine his level, I gave  him a mock TOEIC exam. One of the questions was:

Question:

Customers who need ______lengthy documents over the Internet should have their network connection configured to optimize large data transfers.

A.   receive   B.   to receive.   C.   receiving    D.  reception


          The  student first asked  me to explain the meaning of the word configure. Next, he dissected the sentence:  he underlined the main subject, bracketed the relative clause, determined the verb for the relative pronoun, determined the main verb in the sentence,  dug through his brain cells for the functions of infinitives and he could recall that an infinitive can function as a noun and as a noun, it can function as a subject, an object, or a predicate/complement-- and as a modifier,  an infinitive can modify a noun, an adjective, and an adverb. After a grueling 7 minute-period,  the  man, then in his mid 20s, chose B. Of course, he was right.

          That same day as I was preparing to go home, the landlady's nosy eight-year-old daughter, Hazel, came to me, grabbed my TOEIC book and pretended to be a teacher. Not wanting to spoil her moment, I pretended to be a student. I showed her the same question I asked the man to answer earlier that day. I asked her to teach me the right answer.  Without the slightest hesitation, the girl quickly chose B. When I asked her why she chose B, she raised an eyebrow and said, "You wanna know why?! Because it makes sense!"

          So, what does this show?

          I'm not saying that little girls are better than adults in answering TOEIC questions.

          What, then, am I trying to point across?

                                --to be continued---




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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grammar Rules...and More Grammar Rules





Grammar Rules...and More Grammar Rules

     Another common practice that ACE World wants to break is the constant memorization of so many  grammar rules. This is a practice which is widely accepted by most students and teachers but sadly, this type of instruction has misled students. Let me make it clear that I don't oppose the explicit learning of grammar rules, as there is nothing wrong with the memorization of grammar rules per se.  In fact, learning grammar is a very good way to determine whether or not students are speaking in a standard way.

     However, many language instructors have made the mistake of teaching detailed grammar rules to beginners and intermediate students. This has resulted to the student's hesitance to speak. First, the student recalls the grammar formula. Next, he constructs a sentence based on that formula. These students eventually  memorize rules without knowing how the words and phrases work together to form a sensible sentence. Here is an example of what happens when students are taught grammar formulas:

Teacher:    To construct  Past Continuous sentences  using AS which means "during the time that", simply put As I was +  Verb-ing,  Subject plus Past Simple Verb. Did you get it?

Student:     Yes.

Teacher:    Make your own example, then.

Student:    As I was turning off the light, I fell asleep.



     First of all, grammar means the whole system and structure of a language. In a  sense, grammar describes the structure of a language. Grammar books describe the rules of grammar in very simple ways. These oversimplified rules don't show the student the totality of the language being learned. Some books explain these rules using grammar terminologies and jargon, but this method only makes learning more complicated for a student, as the student has to spend more time and effort understanding and memorizing these rules. Moreover, if we attempt to explain all the aspects or features of English  using rules of DOs and DONT's, we will surely produce volumes and volumes of books.

     Again, this brings me back to the point I previously stated. If one wants to learn how to fly a plane, there has to be a real plane he can operate, and not just the picture of its parts.

     At ACE WORLD, we teach the usage and not just the sets of rules. We train our students to master grammatical rules through usage, until speaking English becomes an instinct for them, like breathing air.


     Learning a language cannot be done by memorization alone. This involves a new way of thinking, new thought patterns and new ways to use the speech organs. To be able to learn a language, a student has to first learn how to think and talk in the language being learned. How, then, can this be done?



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Monday, May 14, 2012

Is Pronunciation Just A Trivial Matter?








What...did you say???!!!

Learning a language is like cutting a path through a thick forest. The more often the path is traversed, the easier the journey becomes. But a literal cutting of a path through a forest poses a lot of challenges. In the same way, traversing the so-called English road poses a lot of challenges and hindrances.

One thing that impedes a student's "English Journey" is the differences in pronunciation. We all use the same speech organs. It's just that, we use them differently. For some students, the sounds of R and L are the same, so this becomes a hindrance for them. It's common for them to say RACE when they really mean LACE. When their teacher dictates the word CLOUD, they write CROWD and vice versa.

To deal with this, is it all right to ask students to identify and memorize the sound symbols? Or is it all right to show them pictures of the different speech organs such as the lungs, the larynx, the vocal folds, and the different articulators, and discuss how each organ produces a sound? This will make learning English pronunciation more tedious and inefficient. How would you feel if you wanted to learn how to swim but your swimming instructor advised you to get a picture of a pool and imagine yourself swimming in it?

In the same manner, isn't it more practical and more efficient if the teacher just pronounces the words and actually shows the student the actual shapes and positions of the lips, the tongue and the other speech organs?

Truly, then, it's not wise to just tell the students the theories. They need actual practice. My Korean friend once told me that in Chinese, the slight change in intonation can entirely change the meaning of a sentence. In English, a slight moving of the tongue backward or a simple pressing of the lips together may cause confusion and embarrassment. Does the speaker really want to talk about the National Erection Day or the National Election Day? Does he want to ROB his girlfriend or does he want to LOVE his girlfriend?  Did he really want to say that he liked the FART of his boss or the PART of his boss? What does he want to talk about, The Boys of America of The Voice of America?

Pronunciation is a thing often regarded by many as a trivial matter. Clearly, this belief is wrong. Our dear students need help in this specific area.  So, then, in addition to showing the students how vowel and consonant sounds are formed, how else should pronunciation be taught?



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