We got a bunch of inaniloquence up here

Ben.kritz@manilatimes.net Twitter: @benkritz



The Manila Times



English language first before they can learn science and math concepts,” and that it weakens students’ ability in critical thinking and formulating arguments. ACT is wrong, and I suspect that the group’s arguments have more to do with the language education deficiencies of the teachers it supposedly represents rather than concern for the future ability of Filipino students to take advantage of opportunities in further education, employment or business. The unnecessary and unsupported tweak of the PISA and TIMSS international assessments as “questionable neoliberal metrics” tends to expose the group’s real stand. Native language education — not just Tagalog, which is what every initiative to implement “mother tongue” in schooling ends up defaulting to — is important. Language is one of the cornerstones of culture, and every child should extensively understand and appreciate it. Unfortunately for the Philippines, it is home to 100-plus languages that are spoken or understood nowhere else on the planet. The world’s lingua franca (which is kind of an ironic term, come to think of it) happens to be English. Insisting that local language be prioritized in education, particularly in early education when children’s capacity for learning other languages is at its greatest — my own kids were fully fluent in two languages, and had a grasp of a third, before they even started school — is utter tyranny that constrains, rather than broadens, every student’s horizons.