2013 in review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 31, 2013 by juststrikeback

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Overconfident Nancy Binay Dares the Filipino People: DO NOT VOTE FOR ME!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2013 by juststrikeback

Many people won’t be able to distinguish a satire from a news article. Anyway, this is a good read. The call for action remains: DO NOT VOTE FOR BINAY (yeah, it’s that general).

So, What's News?

nancy_binayMAKATI, Philippines — With only two days left before 52 million registered Filipino voters head to their respective precinct to cast their votes, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate Nancy Binay held an impromptu press conference early Saturday morning at her residence for her to make an announcement to the Filipino people.

“Thank you all for coming to this last minute press conference,” said a spokesperson for Binay. “With Monday fast approaching, it is with great confidence for me to introduce your newest senator, Nancy Binay!”

Salamat po at nakarating kayo. Maaaring nagtataka kayo kung bakit ako nagpatawag tayo ng press conference (Thank you all for coming. You might be wondering why I called for a press conference),” said an unkempt Binay, who was  still in her pajamas and looked like she just woke up.

May napanaginipan ako kagabi (Last night, I had a dream),” narrated Binay…

View original post 408 more words

Sino ang HINDI ko iboboto sa ika-13 ng Mayo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 7, 2013 by juststrikeback

Parang mas madali yata na isantabi na lang ang pagboto ngayong ika-13 ng Mayo. Sa unang pagkakataon, masasabi kong nauumay ako sa mga pinagsasasabi ng mga kandidatong nanliligaw ng aking boto. Pero dahil sa mas pagsisisihan ko ang hindi pagboto, minabuti ko na lang na piliing mabuti ang mga kandidatong aking susuportahan. Kahit na mas madaling sabihin ang mga hinahanap ko sa isang kandidato, minabuti kong sa pagkakataong ito ay ilista ang mga HINDI ko iboboto ngayong ika-13 ng Mayo.

Kung kandidato ka, huwag kang mag-alala. Hindi kita direktang papangalanan. Itago mo na lang ang kahihiyan kung sakaling ika’y tamaan. Kung sakali mang hindi swak ang mga deskripsyong na ilalahad ko sa mga katangian mo, malamang sa malamang, ikaw ay nasa listahan ko.

Sino nga ba ang hindi pasok sa aking panlasa sa darating na halalan?

1. BIMPO: Hindi po Good Morning Towel  ang tinutukoy ko. Ang ibig sabihin ng BIMPO ay mga Batang Itinapon ng Magulang sa Politika. By saying na “batang itinapon”, sila ay ang mga kandidatong walang kamuwang-muwang sa pinaggagagawa nila pero tumatakbo dahil dikta ng magulang na gustong may pumalit sa kanila sa poder ng kapangyarihan. Maraming ganyan. Tipong nasorpresa dahil di niya inexpect na tatakbo siya, pero dahil anak ni ganito o ni ganyan at nagpeperform ng mahusay sa [bayarang] survey, e pinatakbo na lamang.

2. Kandidatong pakiramdam ko’y mas mangmang pa sa akin: Paumanhin, pero di naman ako nagmamayabang sa puntong ito. Pero maraming kandidatong mukhang wala namang alam. Mayroon diyan, gustong tumakbong senador pero ayaw namang makipagdebate. Marami ring ganyan sa lokal na pamahalaan. Kaya walang usad, ipinagkakatiwala natin ang pagpapatakbo ng ating gobyerno sa ganitong klaseng mga tao.

3. Mga walang kapasidad mamuno: Halimbawa ay mga Mayor o Kongresista na ang tanging experience sa pamamahala ay yung nakaraang term nila. Sorry, kung hindi ninyo ako nabola noon, lalo  na ngayon.

4. Mga balimbing: Kampi kay ganito noon, pero iba na ngayon. Political butterflies kung sila’y tawagin. Depende sa kung sino ang makapangyarihan ang kanilang susuportahan.

5. Mga ‘Mesiyas’: Aba, may mga kandidatong kung anu-ano ang ipinapangako. Murang pagkain, tamang presyo, pagsugpo sa korupsyon, libreng edukasyon, suportang medikal, libreng gift check, pera, yaman, kaginhawahan, kaunlaran, at kung anu-ano pa. Mga kababayan, lumang taktika na ‘to. Pero ang nakakalungkot, bumebenta pa rin. Sana lang, ‘di mabilis makalimot ang mga botante. Sana lang, subaybayan nila ang mga kandidatong nananalo at tingnan kung tinutupad ba ng mga ito ang mga pangakong kanilang binitiwan.

6. Mga nanalo na sa mas mataas na pwesto noon pero piniling tumakbo sa mas mababang pwesto ngayon: Mga manong/manang, what’s the point? Kung wala kayong nagawa noon nung nasa mas mataas kayong kapangyarihan, anong nagpapaniwala at nakakumbinsi sa inyong may magagawa kayong pagbabago pag nahalal kayo sa mas mababang pwesto? Ang hirap kasi sa kapangyarihan, nakakaadik. Ang hirap sa mga oportunista, hindi na pwedeng asahang magbago. At ang hirap sa mga botante, hindi natututo.

7. Mga magnanakaw, corrupt, at walang integridad: Palagay ko, hindi ko na kailangang ipaliwanag ito.

Ilan lang ang mga ito sa mga hindi ko kakaltusan sa aking balota ngayong halalan. Sa puntong ito, konti lang talaga ang aking iboboto. Patuloy pa rin ako sa pagpoproseso ng mga plataporma at pangakong binibitawan ng mga kandidato. Hinahangad kong ang maikling listahang ito ay makatulong sa iilang makakabasa nito ilang araw bago dumating ang halalan.

Alam ko, isang boto lang ang kaya kong ibigay sa ika-13 ng Mayo. Sana’y malayo ang marating ng aking munting tinig at makatulong sana ito sa pagkamit ng inaasahan nating lahat na pagbabago. At sana’y tunay na pag-isipan ng ating mga kababayan ang kanilang desisyon sa darating na halalan.

An Old Argument: Techspeak can Badly Affect your Grammar (LOL)

Posted in Academic, socio-political, Writing on April 22, 2013 by juststrikeback

In the process of making this reaction paper, I stumbled upon the following comic strip:

comic

Honestly, I do not know how I should react with this comic strip. I found it really funny at the onset because of the use of “techspeak” in the dialog boxes. However, if you will look deeper into the symbolism, there is something truly disturbing underneath. Once you get the message, as an educator, you will be disturbed, too.

Here’s how I interpreted the comic strip: We are educating a generation of techie people. They can’t live without their Android phones, Mac Books, and the like. They usually speak, think, and write according to how they are used to – techspeak being one of them. However, it does not stop there. Even the person handing over the diploma, a person who represents the academe or the teachers also manifest the effect of exposure to technology. The words contained in his dialog box – “Congrats. Gr8 work,” apparently is a manifestation of acquisition of “techspeak” by virtue of assimilation.

 

For the sake of convenience

Tweens – or those who are unclassified because they are in between being children and teenagers – use a unique method of sending messages and notes. This has been developed through time unconsciously. Techspeak is the term coined out to identify this. According to researchers, this can lead to the decline in the skills of children especially in grammar and language.

Drew Cingel is a communication student in Penn State and a PhD candidate for technology, media, and society in the Northwestern University. He concluded that exposure and the use of techspeak can lead to the poor performance of students in a grammar test. Though they can be aware of the rules, they might find it difficult to write in a more formal context.

In the news article, the styles are identified: (1) use of homophones, (2) use of initials, and (3) omission of letters in the word. According to Cingel, the use of these methods can be an obstacle to the ability of tweens to normal grammar and language development. Code switching is possible, but can be quite difficult.

The methodology for verification and the results

Cingel gave an exam to ninth grade students. It was made sure that all the concepts were already covered so that all respondents are aware of the concepts involved. Researchers did a survey among the students in order to gauge their opinions on how important texting is for them. Questions include how many adaptations are used in their text messages.

According to Cignel, grammar scores show that those who adopt techspeak show an obvious decline in grammar scores. Also, the number of messages sent and received has direct effects on the grammar and language skills of the respondents. It boils down to exposure: the more they see adaptations in the text messages they receive, the more likely that they will practice it in the messages that they will create and send.

There are practices that apparently do not have effects on the respondents:

1)    Sentence structure shortcuts

2)    Avoiding proper capitalization

3)    Non-use of the proper punctuations

These may be wrong practices but according to studies, they do not affect one’s writing. This may be because of the fact that they are easier to correct in the process.

My take on the issue

Technology should be recognized as a strong force nowadays especially to those who were borne into it. As educators, we should do our best to use technology to our advantage and view it as a means to an end rather than as an obstruction. Proper grammar can be learned in the conventional way, but it can be reinforced using technology as well. Since there are many instances wherein we find our students  committing errors when it comes to grammar and language that is probably because of their exposure to the convenience language in texting, then why shouldn’t we use these as examples of what our students have to avoid?

In my opinion, pointing out common errors that are derived from techspeak makes our students more self-aware and better in grammar and language. In addition to that, these can be a great source of information for our communicative language learning and grammar exercises. As I mentioned earlier, this can be a source of many examples.

Telling your students to become more self-aware while texting, sending emails, and communicating via the new media will definitely help them in the process of learning grammar because they will learn the conventional lessons in an unconventional way.

Conclusion

Personally, I do not think that techspeak can lead to a person’s decline in grammar and language skills. What we need now are teachers who are:

1)    Open to changes brought about by technology

2)    Not very conservative

3)    Also using the technologies

These are not, in my opinion, too much to ask of us educators. We need to know where our students are coming from so that we can understand them better. Language is dynamic in so many ways – new words are added to our vocabulary on a daily basis and it is affected by various media and technology that pops out seemingly out of nowhere. Given this fact, language teachers should be equally responsive, dynamic, and flexible.

In a sense, the comic strip at the beginning of this reaction paper can actually be a good sign. Teachers who can “ride on” with the current fad can be the best teachers because they actually know where their students are coming from.

 

The Need for Evaluating Textbooks

Posted in Book Review, Writing with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by juststrikeback

evaluation of books

 

Choosing a course textbook is a daunting, sometimes overwhelming prospect for both program administrators and teachers. Nevertheless, it is a prospect that must be respected as it has significant impact on the ability of students to meet their language learning objectives, and affects both the process of how they learn and the outcomes. Sheldon asserts that “the selection of a coursebook signals an executive educational decision in which there is considerable professional, financial and even political investment” (p.237, 1988).

Sheldon (1988) identified three main reasons he believes they are so heavily utilized. Firstly, developing their own classroom materials is an extremely difficult, arduous process for teachers. Secondly, teachers have limited time in which to develop new materials due to the nature of their profession. Thirdly, external pressures restrict many teachers. Each of these is an accurate analysis of the strains teachers feel and using a textbook is one of the most efficient and readily available ways in which to relieve some of these pressures. They lessen preparation time, provide ready-made activities, and provide concrete samples of classroom progress through which external stakeholders can be satisfied.

 

Why Teachers Use a Textbook

Experts advocate a variety of methods for how teachers should use textbooks. Many authors believe textbooks are only a starting point from which teachers are stimulated and provoked to create lessons for their classes. Allwright (1990) views texts as “resource books for ideas and activities rather than as “instructional material” (from Kitao website 1999). This perspective is supported by Cunningsworth as he believes that published material provides the initial framework which must be adapted by each individual teacher to match the needs of their students (p. 65, 1984). While these viewpoints may represent the ideal model of how texts can simply enhance the teachers’ effectiveness, they probably do not reflect actual classroom practices.

Skierso concedes that “most teachers tend to follow the text’s sequence, methodology, pacing and vocabulary to the letter” (p.432,1991). This situation occurs for a variety of reasons: ease of organization of lessons, to provide stability for students, or by the will of program administrators to assure that comparable instruction is being presented across courses. While few experts would advocate such adherence to any text, O’Neill believes that course books may meet students’ needs although they were not specifically designed for any particular group of students and therefore benefit both the instructor and the learner (Kitao, 1999).

 

Looking into the Text

The purpose of this study is to determine the appropriateness of the series in Iranian EFL contexts. Litz (2000) questionnaire was exploited to examine the series thoroughly in all essential aspects. Sixty four EFL teachers rated the series. The results of descriptive statistics indicated that there is an overall consensus among the teachers that Pacesetter rightly addresses the needs of the learners in a communicative curriculum.

The first issue is that the series does not sufficiently underscore the speaking skill. The other concern involves the incorporation of European culture in every skill and skill-related activities as it may cause frustration and bafflement on the part of Iranian adolescent foreign language learners since they are unfamiliar with certain aspects of the target language culture.

EFL textbook markets are replete with various appealing materials published by different companies, thus making it even harder to choose one over the other. This profusion makes the evaluation of textbooks indispensable. Ellis (1997) also underscores the need for course book evaluation. Correspondingly, many researchers have evaluated different textbooks through the application of checklists and questionnaires.

 

Result of descriptive statistics for each section

Practical considerations: This section consists of five items mainly assessing the view of teachers on reasonability of textbook’s price, the ease of accessibility, publishing qualification, textbook package, and author’s approach to teaching methodology.

Layout and design: It shows that most teachers were happy with layout and design of this series. This category comprises eight items measuring the teachers’ opinion on ‘overview of the functions, structures,  and vocabulary, appropriateness and clarity of layout and design, textbook organization , adequacy of vocabulary list and glossary, inclusion of adequate review sections and exercises, inclusion of an adequate set of evaluation quizzes or testing suggestions, the provision of guidance in teacher’s  book on how the textbook can be used to the utmost advantage, and the straightforwardness of the objectives to both the teachers and the learners.

Activities: This section included seven items eliciting the raters’ responses with respect to whether the textbook series provides an even distribution of controlled versus free or accuracy-based versus fluency-based exercises, whether it provides an opportunity for sufficient communicative and meaningful practice, whether the incorporation of individual, pair, and group work suffices.

Skills: This section focuses on tapping the raters’ opinions as to whether the textbooks under study take into account those skills that the teachers and the learners need the most, whether these materials equalize the inclusion of the four skills, whether they pay attention to the sub-skills, whether they provide occasions for the practicing of natural pronunciation, and finally, whether the series centers an integration of the four skills (see Table 5).

Language type:  The  Language type component encompasses six items(see Table 6) that largely evaluate the view of the raters on the authenticity of the textbook, whether the language of the textbook is at the right level for the intended learners, whether the progression of the grammatical points and vocabulary items are appropriate, whether the grammatical points are presented in conjugation with brief and easy examples, whether the functions presented in the textbooks typify those that the teachers and the learners will probably use, and finally, whether the language of the textbooks puts forth a variety of registers and accents

Subject and content: This section measures the following sub-components (see Table 7): whether the subject and content of the textbook are pertinent to the needs of the intended audience, whether the subject and content of the book are generally realistic, whether the content and subject of the book are interesting, challenging, and motivating, whether there is a sufficient variety in the subject and content of the textbook, and whether the materials are culturally biased or portray any negative stereotype.

Conclusion:  This section mainly assesses (see Table 8) the views of the raters on the appropriateness of the series for the language learning aims of the institutes in which it is applied, the suitability of the series for use in small-medium, homogeneous, co-ed classes of university students, the role of the series in raising students’ interest in further English language study, and finally, whether the teachers would select the textbook again.

 

 

Conclusion

The result revealed a striking number of benefits in applying the Pacesetter series; however, it suffers a few numbers of shortcomings. It is worth mentioning that the category which the EFL teachers were the most satisfied with is practical considerations and the category which EFL teachers were the least satisfied with is skills of the book. With respect to the inadequacies of the series pointed out by this survey, language teachers should take responsibility and provide the opportunity for the learners to remedy the problems with substituting more culture-bound activities, to supplement tasks revolving around the speaking skills, and to offer natural examples of non-native accents through the use of authentic materials. In conclusion, language teachers should assume responsibility for compensating any deficiencies of any certain textbook since no textbook is perfect.

Writing Your Own Grammar Book: An Eclectic Approach

Posted in Academic, Writing with tags , , , on April 8, 2013 by juststrikeback

books

Personally, I am addicted to textbooks. When I was still taking up my Engineering degree back in UP, whenever I encounter a new subject area, I make it a point to purchase the necessary textbook. I do not know why, but I feel more secure when I have one. My chance of survival is boosted in the psychological sense. Whenever assignments were given or exams were approaching, I considered each textbook as my reliable friend.

According to ehow.com, textbooks are commonly used to serve as a guide for instruction. It assures everyone in the class that the coursework will process in a consistent manner. In addition, the basis of grading becomes clearer and the course requirements are clearly enumerated for the students. Furthermore, the textbooks give a long list of benefits to instructors, students, and educational institutions.

Faced with a choice between a school with textbooks and those without, I will surely choose to study (students’ point of view) or to teach (educators’ point of view) in a school with textbooks. If both institutions makes use of textbooks, I will choose the one with better quality textbooks, ceteris paribus (or holding all other factors as equals). Of course, the use of textbooks, under normal circumstances would not be my sole consideration in making my personal choices.

Purpose of Textbook

Historically, most presentations of teachers are often loaded with their own personal interpretations. This has been the case even up to date in many schools all over the world. McGuffey (1800) suggests and recommends encouraging and including morality and society in lessons. In the past, memorizing the contents of the textbook has been a norm in the United States and in Great Britain.

According to Horsley (2004), the current trend shows that textbooks are mainly used by teachers to give a clear springboard and subject matter for the students. With a clear springboard, in my opinion, teachers have more time to prepare a creative way of presenting the key points. With more time, I believe any teacher can inject creativity by providing materials and lectures that will supplement the main discussion in the textbook. For students, textbooks serve as a good study guide. Following the line of thought in a textbook is a good idea since most of the time, based on my personal experience, the topics are usually ordered in the most logical manner possible.

Advantages of Using a Textbook

Before I proceed with my actual reflection, allow me to give some space for discussing the advantages enjoyed by students, instructors, and educational institutions. After all, the text books would not be in existence for so long if they do not provide a lot of benefits.

  1. Student Advantages
  • Textbooks make it easier to find relevant information needed in the coursework.
  • Textbooks serve as a good study guide. These make it possible for students to study in advance because of the logical organization of lessons.
  • More resourceful students can look for other resources in the internet or other books to supplement their own learning experience.
  • Buying textbooks is economical because buying second hand books is an option for students. Most textbooks can also be sold after being used. If it is still out of the budget, one can easily borrow a copy from the University library for free.
  1. Instructor Advantages
  • Textbooks are considered as teachers’ good partners in enhancing the comprehension and level of learning of students.
  • Key points are better emphasized by teachers reinforced by follow-up exercises with gradually increasing level of difficulty.
  • Teachers who use textbooks usually find it easier to make evaluation materials, tests, or examinations.
  1. Advantages for Educational Institutions
  • In general, with the proper choice of textbooks, the educational institution can expect better student grades and higher teacher evaluations.
  • The educational institution also can yield profits from selling textbooks in bulk to students.

With these advantages, I must say that writing textbooks, as English educators, should be given due focus. It is very timely to look into Patricia Byrd’s journal article entitled Writing Grammar Textbooks: Theory and Practice.

Key Findings

According to Patricia Byrd (1994) in her journal entry, grammar textbook writers should have a vast knowledge on the proper and balanced mix of theory and pragmatic knowledge or application of methods in teaching the English language. This way, it can be assured that the resulting textbook will be able to meet the expectations and the needs of both the teachers and the students.

There are three considerations that should be tackled:

The Teaching of Grammar: Here, one should be familiar with the multiple meanings of grammar. The meanings and levels of grammar were already discussed by Dr. Asi in class. All of us are already aware that grammar does not merely refer to a set of rules. It is much more than that. In order for an author to make an effective grammar book, the conventional view of grammar as a boring set of  rules that are meant to crucify students should be debunked and trashed. Grammar should be much more than that.

According to Byrd, the effective “teaching of grammar” involves:

(1)  Preparation and assisting students by making them familiar of the literature;

(2)  Providing counsel for students in relation to his writing and speaking skills to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the students;

(3)  Pointing out the patterns from a given set of examples; and

(4)  Presenting a system of study, practice, use, and testing so that students will go further into a material.

Teaching of grammar, in the end, concurs with what Larsen-Freeman (1991) points out – grammar teaching has a prerequisite: building a correlation among the following: meaning or semantics, structure or form, and pragmatics or contextualization.  Missing out any of these point will make it difficult for a person to teach grammar.

Pedagogical Grammar: In addition to the “teaching of grammar” definition, there is a need for an aspiring textbook author to be familiar of the many definitions of pedagogical grammar. By doing so, an author can carefully craft explanations, examples, and exercises that adhere to pedagogical grammar. The following things are among the theories that one should work on:

(1)  Scholarly grammars: nitty-gritty of the many linguistic forms alongside with the contexts of the language;

(2)  Theory about the effective means of learning the English language;

(3)  Theory about the effective means of teaching the English language;

(4)  Theory about the proper presentation of the materials to different kinds of learners;

(5)  Theory on how the teacher can bear the responsibility to teach the materials developed; and

(6)  Theory on how teachers and students use text materials in teaching, learning, and studying English as a second language.

In my opinion, all these things work together in the preparation of an aspiring author of a textbook.

Usefulness of Direct and/or Indirect Teaching of Grammar: There are three points of view that can be used in the development of a grammar textbook:

(1)  Open and overt attention to many aspects of the English grammar;

(2)  Giving indirect attention to grammar while integrating tasks that are communicative by nature;

(3)  Not giving to any of the grammar issues.

In my opinion, the best approach is the second or giving indirect attention. The fact that communicative tasks are included only means that it is the most efficient and the most practical at the same time. Well, all of these approaches have their own respective advantages and disadvantages, but I think, based on what we took up in class so far, the second is the most eclectic, if not ideal.

Conclusion

Needless to say, a textbook as a finished product is a fruit of continuous and effortful endeavor that requires not only skill and intelligence, but also dedication and love for the subject matter. In this case, the writer should have innate mastery of English grammar and should be creative enough to come up with novel ways of presenting the topics and lessons.

I agree, upon publishing a textbook, the author becomes a part of the audience. This is the time when an author can have a second look at his work. In the process, he can extract both his intellect and creativity so that the next edition can be better by leaps and miles.

The Competitive Edge: Jose Carillo’s Book Reviewed

Posted in Academic, Book Review, Writing with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2013 by juststrikeback

carillo book

 

Give Your English The Winning Edge by Jose Carillo is definitely a winner. As a writer, this is a dream compilation that a journalist, editor, and writing practitioner can only deliver.

I must say that English speakers – native speakers or otherwise – have something to learn from Carillo’s book. Dubbed as the definitive guide to the English language for Filipinos, it proves to be useful for anyone who wishes to master the English language. With a clear narrative, he was able to explain complicated concepts in straightforward fashion.

Truly electrifying

As I read through the book right from the moment when I grabbed hold of my copy, my enthusiasm is unexplainable since I know where the author is coming from. I have prior experience in writing for the school paper and I must say that I have become the writer that I am today because of the exposure.

Nothing beats first-hand experience. Knowing that you have an audience who will constantly evaluate you and the quality of your writing gives you a different electrifying experience that adds excitement to the honing and molding experience. You simply do not write for personal pleasure or for grades. You write to inform and persuade thousands of readers within the University. That’s why I revere Carillo’s book and the bits and pieces of information that he attempts to pass on. It takes a lot of courage to write for a large audience. But it takes greatness to teach other writers the proper way of using the language.

This book is actually just one of the many works that Carillo has. He also authored English Plain and Simple and The 10 Most Annoying English Grammar Errors. Needless to say, his works has acquired depth and dimension because of the extent of his experience. His mastery does not stop at the theory level – he actually applied all the concepts in his own personal writing.

Nod from the Other Experts

Jose Carillo is undoubtedly an institution and an expert in his own respect. But to get a nod from other experts in the field is truly a vindication of his work and a benchmark on its own.

For example, his work is actually praised by Jose Dalisay, a doctorate degree holder in English and the Director of the Institute of Creative Writing in the University of the Philippines. He even labeled himself as a fan of Carillo and his works. He thinks that the work is a very enjoyable and invigorating treat to those who want to master their English knowledge.

On the other hand, another print practitioner, John Nery from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, thinks that all of the essays on grammar written by Carillo are truly helpful and well-tempered. Personally, I have browsed through all of the topics and read a few in their entirety. I have my own favorites like those discussing about paragraph unity, transitions, and tenses. Just like me, I believe any reader and writer with varying levels of expertise and command of the language will definitely have their own favorite essays and chapters from this book. I personally can say that it helps a lot for a reader to feel that the author of the book is actually an expert in the field of journalism.

These are just some of the experts who gave their respective nods to the book authored by Carillo. Even if I am not an expert myself, I am expressing my admiration to the compilation written by Carillo. This is one of those works that I wish I wrote myself. Hopefully someday, I will also be dubbed as an expert and I can only wish that I will be able to come up with a similar work.

 

Love for the Language Manifested and Expressed

The book is an expression of love for the language. The Philippines is a country of English speakers, hence, the book is for every Filipino. The good thing is that even foreigners who speak English can relate to the experiences and lessons relayed by the author through his book.

Anyone who loves the language and who uses it constantly will feel the need to read through the entire book. Honestly, I was not yet able to read it thoroughly given the restriction dictated by time. I only have a week to read through the book and come up with this reaction. But with that short period of time, I was able to get the maximum amount of learning from Carillo’s book.

The author truly loved English and it shows. He was able to give updated examples, context, and background information  that makes it easier for the readers to correlate different information at hand. Even the contentious issues that are often dodged by other language teachers are touched – issues like sexism as well as the issue on marking a distinction between formal and informal writing styles.

 

The Author

The author is multi-awarded and he started out as a writer. Through the years, he became an editor. With this vast base of information and experience, he became one of the most respected and multi-awarded communicator and media man in the Philippines. He garnered distinctions from both local and international award-giving bodies for his contributions as a writer, editor, and media company executive.

He started out as a campus journalist. He became a news reporter for a national daily. Afterwards, he got promoted as an editor of a newspaper. Later on, he became a General Manager of a popular national daily, The Manila Times. Today, he is a communication assistant and he wrote several books about the language.

I included this section about the author because one of the best ways to understand the book is by knowing its author. Given the backgrounder, it is easier to understand the context of each experience that he has shared in each of the chapter of his book.

 

Conclusion

I highly recommend this book to everyone who wishes to know more about the proper use of English. While reading the book in its entirety is truly helpful and enriching, it should be noted that still, nothing beats practice. In order to master the language and its rules, one should do his part to use it as often as possible. This way, a user of the language will become more experienced. And from those experiences, one can become a better speaker and writer.