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By Roger M. Thompson

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Extra resources for Filipino English and Taglish: Language Switching from Multiple Perspectives (Varieties of English Around the World General Series)

Example text

When the Monroe Commission report appeared, most critics ignored the successes which had been identiªed and noted the low reading scores as evidence that the educational system was not working. However, the successes were remarkable considering the limited resources available for creating from 25 26 Filipino English and Taglish scratch an English-speaking school system with English-speaking teachers in a country with neither a tradition of education nor a tradition of speaking English. The results probably compare favorably with those that could be found today in schools in the United States which have large immigrant populations.

45). They attributed this low reading score to the paucity of reading material, especially reading that is appropriate for the mature Filipino student. They suggested that the schools buy more science books and subscribe to magazines. One researcher on the evaluation team found that all the reading in the ªrst four grades could be read aloud within twelve hours. They also found that the schools with the best readers were those that encouraged silent rather than oral reading. When the Monroe Commission looked at the teachers, they found that 95 percent at the elementary school level had little professional training.

However, they switched to Tagalog merely to get around the censors. The Japanese soon found that they had to conduct their business in English. The language was becoming indiginized. Filipinos were proud of their ability to speak English and used it as a sign of resistance. In fact, after the war, more claimed the ability to speak English than before the war (J. Miller 1978: 38). In many families, English had become one of the languages the children learned at home. This was particularly true in the homes of teachers.

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