How to pre­pare high school stu­dents for col­lege English

Panay News - - MAJOR STORIES - By Remie B. Vil­lanueva, Pres­i­dent Roxas, Capiz

HOW are high school English cour­ses pre­par­ing stu­dents for col­lege? There are so many ways to prac­tice English, and some­times stu­dents find it hard to know where to start and this is where a solid foun­da­tion at school comes in. We can­not stress as much the im­por­tance of learn­ing English in the class­room as it is out­side day in and day out in a glob­al­ized world but if our English cour­ses are an­chored on the fun­da­men­tals of English and thrusts to­wards us­ing in­ter­ac­tive ser­vices that im­proves lan­guage skills such as read­ing, writ­ing, l i sten­ing, pro­nun­ci­a­tion, gram­mar and vo­cab­u­lary, high school stu­dents can eas­ily ace col­lege en­trance ex­ams and grad­u­ate with English skills that are at par with the rest of the world.

Teach­ers must teach stu­dents well with ex­cel­lent writ­ing skills. This can be mea­sured by series of writ­ing es­say ac­tiv­i­ties. Writ­ing es­says us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage is an es­sen­tial for aca­demic study. In­de­pen­dent-level learn­ers can prac­tice writ­ing es­says by us­ing link­ing words and phrases to cre­ate longer sen­tences and con­nect their ideas. On the other hand, pro­fi­cient-level learn­ers can prac­tice us­ing ref­er­enc­ing words and dis­course mark­ers to struc­ture their writ­ing and de­velop their writ­ten flu­ency.

Teach­ers must teach stu­dents well with crit­i­cal read­ing skills. This can be mea­sured by not only how stu­dents read or how they can read and get sat­is­fac­tion in what they are tasked to read or not tasked to read but can still read, but also on how they can re­flect and un­der­stood what they are read­ing. Read­ing text­books, ar­ti­cles and re­search pub­li­ca­tions is crit­i­cal to any aca­demic dis­course and later to ac­quir­ing and ex­e­cut­ing their jobs. What in­de­pen­dentlevel learn­ers can do is prac­tice read­ing quickly, the skim and scan ap­proach for one, to find spe­cific in­for­ma­tion in a text. On the other hand, pro­fi­cient-level learn­ers can prac­tice read­ing care­fully to un­der­stand abstract con­cepts and aca­demic ar­gu­ments writ­ten in English.

Teach­ers must teach stu­dents well with ac­tive lis­ten­ing skills. Hear­ing is the phys­i­cal abil­ity, while lis­ten­ing is a skill. Any skill is learned through prac­tice and is im­proved when non-stop. Lis­ten­ing skill is mea­sured through a sim­ple in­struc­tion in­side the class­room, if stu­dents are lis­ten­ing to the lec­tures and when they take part to the dis­cus­sions. In­de­pen­dentlevel learn­ers can prac­tice lis­ten­ing for the main points and ideas in a pre­sen­ta­tion or dis­cus­sion. On the other hand, pro­fi­cientlevel learn­ers can prac­tice lis­ten­ing for sub­tly ex­pressed at­ti­tudes based on the words and in­to­na­tion used.

Teach­ers must teach stu­dents well the right pro­nun­ci­a­tion. This can be de­vel­oped when stu­dents are al­ways en­cour­aged to the point re­quired to all dis­cus­sions in the class­room that aims at build­ing their con­fi­dence. Re­search shows that three of the main rea­sons why Filipino stu­dents do not pro­nounce English words well are be­cause of their di­alect; ac­cent and they feel not con­fi­dent to try. In­de­pen­dent- l evel l earn­ers can prac­tice pro­nounc­ing dif­fer­ent English sounds such as long and short “i” sounds. Ilong­gos es­pe­cially have one of the most dif­fi­cul­ties in this kind of sounds be­cause of their ac­cent. Pro­fi­cient- level learn­ers can prac­tice dif­fer­ent word stresses and learn how this change the mean­ing of a word or a sen­tence can. ( Paid ar­ti­cle)

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