ERIC Number: ED357622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Dec-12
Pilipino or English in Science Learning? The Case of Bilingual Education in the Philippines.
Alvarez, Anicia A.
Despite long-standing provisions in three Philippine constitutions naming Filipino as the national language, there has been no serious effort to implement the use of Pilipino in the Philippine educational system. Pilipino is based mainly on Tagalog, but is also a blend of words taken from English, Spanish, Arabic, Tamil, and Chinese. A 1973 bilingual policy allowed teachers to use Pilipino in social science subjects and English in science and mathematics subjects due to the difficulty of translating some technical terms. Bilingual education was defined as the separate use of Pilipino and English as media of instruction in definite subjects and the use of the vernacular of the locality as the auxiliary medium of instruction. Implementation of this policy seems to have resulted in the deterioration of achievement results in English, science, and mathematics. Proponents of teaching science in English cite three major reasons for its continued use: it is tested and viable, it is economical, and it is universal. Opponents suggest that science can be taught effectively using the native language and that using English as the language of instruction benefits only the elite. Several studies are cited that are not conclusive but that suggest the difficulty in formulating a single educational policy flexible enough for a country like the Philippines where the vernacular seems to influence the learning of subjects like science. It is concluded that the first language of children is necessary for learning science. Contains 10 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Philippines