"Nosebleed, Don't English Me, I'm Panic"

It is not easy to be multilingual. While it is important that young children are encouraged to maintain and develop their mother tongue, neglecting the learning of English can have serious ramifications in the future. GetRealPhilippines has several recent posts on this topic of language, all of which are pointing to the current sad state of communication in the Philippines. Competency in English, however, is not just a matter of will. It is now becoming clear that English comprehension, if not attained on time, is extremely challenging to address even with the best interventions.

Above copied from Get Real Philippines

A research article scheduled to be published in the Journal of Educational Psychology reports that it is exceedingly difficult to improve English reading comprehension among students who spoke a language other than English at home and had underdeveloped vocabulary in English by the time they enter secondary school. A two-year intensive reading intervention designed for adolescents is found not to have any significant effect on these high school students. The intervention of four hours a week for two straight years that involves a class size of 10 to 15 students, and includes word study, fluency, and vocabulary in the first phase (one semester), followed by a second phase (three semesters) on vocabulary and comprehension in content areas of science and social studies, is found to be ineffective in improving reading comprehension.
 
Interventions often do not work. For this reason, timing is important. Mathematics and Science are to be found in text written in English. English reading proficiency is found to correlate with academic success in math and the sciences in a multilingual context. Not only that, even critical pieces on politics, philosophy, religion, economics and almost all other disciplines are frequently written in English. Neglecting English during the primary years of basic education has a serious toll and it appears to be permanent.


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