Linguistic Context In The Philippines

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A. Related literature The linguistic context of the Philippines plays an important role in the formulation and implementation of various language and education policies in the country. Home to 171 extant languages (Lewis, 2009), the archipelago is a colorful mix of cultures, traditions, and languages. In many ways, the interaction we see among the languages spoken here are by no means a product of different social factors – language preference, shift, borrowings, and contact are brought about by the concepts of prestige, ideologies, labels and stereotypes the speakers continue to propagate. The multilingual situation of the country is far from simple. Aside from the vernaculars (ex. Bugkalot of the Cordilleran region), a prototypical Filipino…show more content…
Gonzales (1996) describes the situation of Philippine education as a result of its multilingual background and the implementation of its diverse policies. It stems from the 408 unequal status of the two languages used in the bilingual policy – Filipino and English. In terms of resources, materials and development, the two languages as media of instruction are highly disparate. Realistically speaking, the bilingual policy is enacted as the separation of the use of Filipino and English in distinct domains. Filipino is used in arts and humanities subjects while English is used in science and mathematics. The vernacular assists the use of these two languages by providing a bridge or a transitional medium of instruction. It has been mentioned that the Bilingual Project is not a very effective educational policy program as the academic performance of the students was found to be mediocre especially in the areas of science and mathematics. Thus, educators and policy makers sought alternatives to this approach, and the MTBMLE is found to be an excellent option. With MTBMLE, students are first taught to read and write in their L1, and subjects such as mathematics and science are to be taught using the L1 as well. Continuously building a strong foundation of the students’ L1, Filipino and English, as separate subjects, are introduced. Skills in speaking, writing, and reading will be focused on. Gaining enough proficiency in their L2/L3, these languages are then used as the primary media of instruction. MTBMLE rests on the premise that the students can transfer the skills and knowledge they gained from their intensive L1 instruction to their L2 (Filipino and English) provided they get sufficient training and education. Thus, effective L2 learning is ensured alongside the improved
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