Readiness of School Heads and Teachers in the Implementation of Mother Tongue Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

“Children need to have access to and control over the language of power both in school and in society in order to overcome the current inequity in the world.” * Prof. Roderick Motril Aguirre, Professor De La Salle University

Teaching as a profession assumes different meanings and definitions and it is always depending on the practitioners’ ultimate goal. Accepting it as an art does not lessen the concern for the methods and techniques employed in transmitting knowledge. Teaching should be adjusted to the needs of the learners. As such, it is imperative to determine first the difficulties and needs so that whatever materials a teacher purports to design should be in accordance with these needs. And this is what is known as directional teaching. This means that it is an assurance of more achievements in teaching than mere teaching without any sound basis. Considerably, the contribution of teachers teaching and in the learning outcomes are widely recognized. Towards it, the teacher’s effectiveness has more impact on the students learning than any other factor which are under the control of school systems, including its class size, school size, and the quality of school programs. (Rivkin et al., 2005)

The language of instruction and literacy skills among pupils in Philippine schools are foreign and incomprehensible to more than 70% of Filipino students. This is a phenomenon which is also common to many other countries in Asia and throughout the world. At present the curriculum for Grade – I to III, the medium of instruction used in the classroom is the mother tongue. Mother Tongue, also known as native language or first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period or that a one speaks the best and so is often used as the basis for sociolinguistic identity. In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language of one’s ethnic group rather than one’s first language. Sometimes, there can be more than one mother tongue, when the child’s parents speak different languages. These children are usually called bilingual speakers.

The origin of the term “mother tongue” harks back to the notion that the linguistic skills of a child are honed by the mother and therefore the language spoken by the mother would be the primary language that the child would learn.”–this type of culture-specific notion is totally a misnomer. The term was used by Catholic monks to designate a particular language they used, instead of Latin, when they are “speaking from the pulpit”. That is, the “holy mother of the Church” introduced this term and colonies inherited it from the Christianity as a part of their colonial legacy. The process was realized through the efforts made by foreign missionaries in the transitional period of switching over from 18th century that was during Mercantile Capitalism to 19th century during Industrial Capitalism time in India.

In some countries such as Kenya, India, and various East Asian countries, “mother language” or “native language” was used to indicate the language of one’s ethnic group, in both common and journalistic parlance (e.g. ‘I have no apologies for not learning my mother tongue’), rather than one’s first language. Likewise, in Singapore, “mother tongue” refers to the language of one’s ethnic group regardless of actual proficiency, while the “first language” refers to the English language that was established on the island through the British colonization, which was termed as the lingua franca for most post-independence Singaporeans due to its use as the language of instruction in government schools and as a working language.

DepEd Order No. 16 s. 2012, states that starting School Year 2012-2013, the Mother Tongue-Based-Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) shall be implemented in all public schools, specifically from Kindergarten, Grade 1, 2, and 3 to invade, and this is part of the K to 12 Basic Education Program. The MTB-MLE shall support the goal of “Every Child-A-Reader and A-Writer by Grade 1.” Eight (8) major languages or Lingua Franca and others such as Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano shall be offered as a learning area and utilized as language of instruction as a learning area and utilized as language of instruction for SY 2012-2013.

The MTB-MLE shall be implemented in two (2) modes: as learning/subject area and as a medium of instruction. The Mother Tongue (MT) as a subject will focus on the development of beginning reading and fluency from Grade 1 to 3. The learners’ Mother Tongue (L1) shall be used as medium of instruction (MOI) in all domains/learning areas from Kindergarten through Grade 3 except Filipino (L2) and English (L3). The L1 will continuously be used as MOI in a transition or bridging process (L1-L2-L1 or L2-L1-L2) through Grade 3. The L2 will be introduced in the first semester of Grade 1 for oral fluency and reading and writing will be introduced in the 2nd Semester of Grade 1. The four (4) macro skills, namely: listening, speaking, reading and writing will continuously be developed from Grades 2-6.

The existing MTB-MLE regional training team organized for the model schools shall be the same team that will be responsible for the division and school-based training of teachers on the MTB-MLE for the K to 12 Basic Education Program (BEP). The members shall be expanded to include trainers in the Kindergarten. All of these teachers shall have undergone not only the Training of Trainers (TOT) for MLE but also the K to 12 BEP. With this scenario the researcher became curious in finding out the extent of readiness of the teachers in the different grades mentioned in the utilization of the Mother Tongue approach in classroom instruction.

Theoretical Framework
This study anchors the following theories professed by the writers who demonstrated expertise this line.

Figure 1. Theoretical Framework
The framework shows three different theories that link students’ knowledge acquisition; Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory, Piaget’s social cognitive theory and Experiential and Knowledge Acquisition Theory of Dewey.

Piaget , a famous Swiss psychologist, (Gurin, 2009), stressed that children actively construct their own cognitive worlds; information is not just poured into their minds from the environment. In her theory the focus was on cognitive development. The general principles of P

iaget’s theory include the following. He felt that intelligence is an aid in how one adapts to the

environment. Intelligence can be displayed on a continuum and is shown as one has increasingly complex responses to their environment. Equilibration refers to how development occurs through stages – a process of cognitive development in which children seek a balance between the information and experiences they encounter. As stated by Vygotsky (1978), every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first between people (inter-psychological) and then inside the child (intra-psychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts.

All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals. A second aspect of Vygotsky’s theory is the idea that the potential for cognitive development is limited to a “zone of proximal development” (ZPD). This “zone” is the area of exploration for which the student is cognitively prepared, but requires help and social interaction to fully develop (Briner, 1999). A teacher or more experienced peer is able to provide the learner the learner with “scaffolding” to support the student’s evolving understanding f knowledge domains or development of complex skills. Collaborative learning, discourse, modeling, and scaffolding are strategies for supporting the intellectual knowledge and skills of learners and facilitating intentional learning. The implications of Vygotsky theory are that learners should be provided with socially rich environments in which to explore knowledge domains with their fellow students, teachers and outside experts. ICTs can be used to support the learning environment by providing tools for discourse, discussions, collaborative writing, and problem-solving, and by providing online support systems to scaffold students’ evolving understanding and cognitive growth.

The social nature of mankind is also critical for education. According to Dewey, the principle that development of experiences comes about through interaction means that education is essentially a social process, however, education often has not understood the value of the social nature of students. Dewey argues that traditional education has a “pattern of organization” that consists of schedules, rules and procedures, which inhibit student learning. In contrast, he argues that there should be careful planning to nurture social relationships. These social relationships can also facilitate greater interaction between mature and immature people. The responsibility of educating students goes beyond the teacher and involves the entire social system. The notion that it takes a village to raise a child is consistent with Dewey’s experiential learning theory. Therefore, when discussing Dewey’s philosophy of experiential education, the social environment within which education takes place is critical. The social environment affects of the educational process.

The nature of knowledge is critical to Dewey’s theory of experiential learning theory. He saw significant discrepancies in how traditional education viewed knowledge and how it should be viewed in experiential learning. Dewey’s supposition was that in traditional education knowledge consists of bodies and information and skills that have been worked out in the past. The life experiences of the students are irrelevant to the acquisition of knowledge. In traditional education knowledge is something that is predetermined and controlled beyond the influence of the students. The goal is for the students to accumulate as much knowledge as possible to prepare them for their future endeavors. Conceptual Framework

Figure 2:Research Paradigm
This framework shows the independent, dependent, and intervening variables of the study. The researcher wish to find out the readiness of teachers in the use of mother tongue in Grade – I using the following as interdependent variable:, speak correctly the language, explore pupils cognitive preparation, use of collaborative learning, discussion, modeling and scaffolding, and interact socially. Given the said interdependent variables, it will determine the readiness in teachers in the use of mother tongue.

Statement of the Problem:
This study which deals on the readiness manifested by teachers on the use of mother tongue in teaching Grade – I subjects in public elementary schools, Division of Lipa City, during the school year 2012-2013. More importantly, it seeks to find answers to the following questions: 1. To what extent is the readiness demonstrated by teacher in the use of mother tongue in teaching grade level mentioned above as perceived by school heads by themselves in terms of their: 2.1. ability to speak correctly the language,

2.2. ability to explore the pupils cognitive preparation 2.3.
ability to use collaborative learning, discourse modeling and scaffolding strategies in teaching. 2.4. Ability to develop pupils’ ability to interact socially. 2. Is there any significant difference between the perceptions of the two groups of respondents on the assessment of the teachers readiness in teaching using mother tongue based from the factors mentioned in question number 1? 3. To what extent is the receptiveness manifested by pupils on the teachers use of mother tongue in teaching vis-à-vis in terms of the following: 4.5. on the ability to comprehend what was taught to them 4.6. on the ability to react to teachers questions

4.7. on the ability to frame sentences in respond to questions given 4.8. on the ability to elaborate reasons to any given questions 4.9. on the ability to work independently or with the group. 4. Is there any significant relationship that exists between the extents of readiness of teachers to use mother tongue in teaching with the acceptance manifested by pupils on the teaching demonstrated by their teachers? 5. Based on the findings what plan of action can be designed to the skills of the teachers in the using of mother tongue in teaching?

Scope and Limitations

The study specifically seeks to determine the readiness of teachers in the use of mother tongue in the teaching relativity in the implementation of K to 12 program of government. More importantly all the Grade I teachers teaching in public elementary schools shall act as the subject respondents of the study aside from their respective school heads.

The respondents’ answers shall focus only on the assessment of teachers readiness as far as the use of mother tongue in teaching Grade I. Likewise the extent into which the pupils received or react on the use of mother tongue which could be determined too by teachers based on their perceptions.

Furthermore, the researcher will use the data gathered through the prepared questionnaires which will be distributed to the target respondents. Results could also be substantiated by the interviews that the researchers could gather from other stakeholders.

The researcher believes that the result of this endeavor may give due significance to the following:

Schools Division Superintendent and Division Supervisor. They can recommend different effective methodology in instruction based on the problems of teachers teaching using mother tongue.

Principals. They can observed the teaching strategies and methodologies that their teachers use in teaching different subjects using mother tongue.

Teachers. They are the first to get the benefits of this study, because even if they increase further their teaching strategies reduce their concern on how to teach a lesson in different subjects using mother tongue.

Parents. For them to know that thier children will learn much more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time.

Pupils. Developing mother tongue proficiency is easier for them because they have lessons each week in their native language. For students who are not in this fortunate position, there is still much that can be done to maintain the mother tongue. Students should be encouraged to read good literature and to discuss school work.

Curriculum Writers. This will provide the knowledge information about the curriculum that they are going to make in future.

Future Researchers. For those who wish to conduct their own studies regarding using mother tongue as medium of instruction in the implementation of K to 12.

Above all, the results of this study are believed by the researcher to benefit all individuals regardless of age, gender and educational attainment.

Mother Tongue. A first language is the language(s) a person has learned from birth[1] or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity.

K to 12. Covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.

Collaborative Learning. Is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together, is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles.

Discourse Modeling. Describes all aspects of the relations between groups of sentences in monologue (text), dialogue, or multiparty interactions, e.g. text coherence, rhetorical relations, intentional and attentional state, centering, dialogue moves, dialogue acts, argument structures and reference phenomena, to name just a few. Recently, with the growing interest in multimodal discourse processing, discourse models extend their reach beyond the modality speech/language to other modalities like gesture, gaze or haptics, and cover also cross-modal phenomena.

Scaffolding Strategies. Are ways of organizing or shaping instruction to create a classroom environment where students can take risks safely, develop cognition, and become better able to handle tasks involving complex language.

Descriptive Research. Also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. However, it does not answer questions about e.g.: how/when/why the characteristics occurred, which is done under analytic research.

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