Exposure Results to Mastery

We Filipinos are known to be one of those countries which study and use two or more languages. English or Filipino, besides our dialect which is most likely our mother tongue, we also learn, use and study these both as subjects and as two different languages.

            Executive Order No. 210 s. of 2003 Section 1 a-c clearly states that “a. English shall be taught as a second language, starting with the First Grade; b. as provided for in the 2002 Basic Education Curriculum, English shall be used as the medium of instruction for English, Mathematics, and Science from at least the Third Grade level; c. the English language shall be used as the primary medium of instruction in all public and private institutions of learning in the secondary level, including those established as laboratory and/or experimental schools, and non-formal and vocational or technical educational institutions. As the primary medium of instruction, the percentage of time allotment for learning areas conducted in the English language is expected to be not less than seventy percent (70%) of the total time allotment for all learning areas in the secondary level.” The said law was passed during Former President Arroyo’s term which pushed through up until now. A practice that is believed to have helped us climb through the standards of global competency, is beneficial to us as a nation and our partnership with the rest of the region (ASEAN) and the world.

            The challenge to learn English as our second language has grown and it is believed that the more, we gauge into learning it the more it benefits us. Exposure refers to the contact that the learner has with the language that they are trying to learn, either generally or with specific language points. Referring to the language in general, it often refers to contact outside the classroom (BBC 2016). So, the more a learner is exposed to a second language the more the learner can get an ample amount of skill to be proficient in using such language. As we further teach English as our second language here in the Philippines, our focus should not be only on learning inside the classroom but on allowing our learners to be exposed to the language as much as we can, giving them chance to use it in application daily.

            With this comes the challenge for teachers, teaching English as a second language to be able to come up with enjoyable, interesting activities that expose learners to American standard English. Multiple exposures vastly improve learner retention of new knowledge. The strategy works most effectively when the exposures occur over a span of time (Hattie, 2016). Most of the activities we conceptualize as teachers must revolve around our common aim that students master the use of English orally. If we engage with them and provide them materials, these alone will expose them to English within a school year even if done only 2 to 3 hours a day, five days a week.

            Schools in the Philippines should also encourage other subjects, such as Math and Science that teachers deliver instruction purely in English. We can implement an English-only policy during the conduct of these subjects which can add exposure to students if we aim to produce communicatively competent learners in the future.

            As English teachers, we internalize the essence of teaching and learning English as a second language. Some argue that a child who is good at speaking the said language does not mean that one is marked as an academically inclined learner. And although I agree with that, learning how to use the English language orally has benefits that could help a learner in his or her career in the future.

            The Pandemic has robbed us, especially our students, of our ability to express so it is only fitting that we help students acquire the necessary skills that can help them develop into the best versions of themselves. It starts within us for our influence can make a mark on these students. Exposing them to the right materials will eventually result in skills that will help them in the long run.