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Renato Constantino on “The Language Problem”

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(From “The mis-education of the Filipino,” in Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol.1.,No.1 (1970), p 20-36

As timely as ever …

“The most vital problem that has plagued Philippine education has been the question of language. Today experiments are still going on whether it would be more effective to use the native language. This indeed is ridiculous since the individual can not be more at home in any other language than his own. In every sovereign country, the use of its own language in education is so natural no one thinks it could be otherwise. But here, so great has been our disorientation caused by our colonial education that the use of our own language is a controversial issue, with more Filipinos against than in favor!

“A foreign language is an impediment to instruction. Instead of learning directly through the native tongue, a child has first to master a foreign tongue, memorize its vocabulary, get accustomed to its sounds, intonations, accents, later to just discard the language when he is out of school. This does not mean that foreign languages should not be taught. Foreign languages should be taught and can be taught more easily after one has mastered his own tongue.
” (Emphasis added, rmc.)

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Written by Resty Cena

Setyembre 7, 2011 Sa 7:43 umaga

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