Friday, October 16, 2009
Sam, just like any other Korean student, is here in the Philippines to learn the English language. He is new to the place and is still at the state of culture shock. Oftentimes, foreigners like him study in the country because of the belief that a lot of us Filipinos speak good, if not excellent English.

It is a challenge to him and many other Koreans to learn English at its very basic because the language is not commonly used in their homeland. Therefore, it is understandable that they have their own way of pronouncing words and they often are heard interchanging one letter to another. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're dumb or incapable; it only means there is more to work on especially with the use of the language. Perhaps, the majority will agree if one says that soon enough, they could master the English language or even be better than many people.

One cannot help but question why of all countries, the Philippines is the country of choice for many Koreans and other non-English speaking nationalities. "Education in Korea is very expensive and here it is very affordable," said Sam. Being a third-world country could be one of the many factors why education is cheaper here than in many countries but it does not necessarily affect the quality of instruction that we have here most especially in private institutions or universities that are among the top.

Though education is a high priority of the Philippine government, it is so unfortunate that a lot of public schools and universities in the country remain substandard. "Quality Education," as seen mostly on the roofing of these schools give a sarcastic impact to numerous people who see the real situation. Quality education is never related to overpopulated schools and universities, nor is it related to the lack of classrooms, qualified teachers and facilities. But yes, maybe the term quality education has already been tainted for the majority, or it might be that people are getting used to it over the years.

A sad reality is that a number of Koreans actually enroll in these institutions, thinking that they could learn a lot at a lesser cost. What fears me is the possibility that their purpose of being here might be defeated. They might not benefit from their schooling here and end up wasting their own resources. The question remains: will they ever learn the English language or perhaps the better question to throw is will they ever learn anything at all?

I believe there is a lot to work on especially in the field of education in the Philippines. If only corruption could meet its death, the possibility of betterment is high. But I'm afraid that scene is nowhere to be seen yet and that the country's officials must undergo a different kind of change before we can see it coming.

A lot of Koreans resort to hiring tutors to aid them in exploring the English language. I personally find nothing wrong with that. But what happens if the tutor himself/herself doesn't know much bout the language? This is another unfortunate situation that I usually witness. It's sad but there isn't much to do about it.

Meet the new tutor: Jayvee

Sam was actually my first tutee. I could remember our first session when I hardly understood a word from him that time. Weeks after, I finally got used to it and found strategies that worked best for him. It was a difficult job for me then but I felt that my effort could help educate a person eager enough to learn.

He had the urge to learn the language and allotted particular time for his twice-a-day tutorial. He was able to read very basic English that time but there was a great need to polish it. Finding mistakes in his grammar and pronunciation was my task back then. It's funny because if I were to assess him, only 50% of what he said could be understood by the majority; but I eventually got used to it. I remember him frequently saying "snatshit...snatshit" during the first week of tutorial. It came to me in a surprise a week after when he bragged about him being the only Korean in their class to pronounce the word snatched very well. He felt thankful to me that time and I felt happy to have, somehow, imparted my humble knowledge on the English language.

I knew that it wasn't just teaching that was required of me back then; patience and devotion were an addition to my bulk as well. I guess it goes to anybody who's on the same boat as I am.


angel.08! said...

Oh cute. :)

Post a Comment