Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Manolo Quezon's Language Wars (Part 2)

Over at mlq3's, the ongoing debate between English vs. Pilipino as a medium of instruction has resumed. It's interesting to hear the points put forward by both sides, especially DJB (who seems to have backed off a bit from his "We are not Asians the way the ASEAN nations are. We are Little Brown Americans!" declaration and has reclassified us Filipinos to the less disgusting sounding "We are already English-speaking Asiatics. Our culture is Chinese-Malay-Spanish-American. "), Inidoro ni Emille (who i wish would take on a less derivative and more respectable handle worthy of his stature in the blogging world) and especially freewheel, who as a Cebuano (well versed in Sugbuaunon, Hiligaynon at Dabawenyo variants of the Visayan language), makes a compelling anecdotal case for the use of Pilipino.

Aside from the discussions, this thread is worth linking to for its pointers to various studies like the one Baycas referred to i.e.,
"Evaluation of the effects of medium of instruction on the science learning of Hong Kong secondary students: Performance on the science achievement test, Bilingual Research Journal, Summer 2003 by Yip, Din Yan, Tsang, Wing Kwong, Cheung, Sin Pui."
and the one cited by Inidoro i.e.,
"Mathematical Thinking and Learning
2001, Vol. 3, No. 2&3, Pages 201-220
Another article worth mentioning is the one linked to by Manolo in his subsequent post i.e., Master English–but don’t neglect local languages article by the Business Mirror which cites a 1998 study by the ADB which concludes that:
"The research by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (WB-ADB) in 1998 showed that the use of the mother tongue in the first years of school provides the necessary “bridge” for a child to learn a second language.

The WB-ADB study verified that children are less likely to drop out of school when classes are conducted in the home language. Pupils are active, not passive, in class recitation—and conceptualization, especially in mathematics, begins almost from the first day of school.

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