Readiness of School Heads and Teachers in the Implementation of Mother Tongue in Grade I

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CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM

Introduction
“Children need to have access to and control over the language of power both in school and in society in order to overcome the current inequity in the world.” * Prof. Roderick Motril Aguirre, Professor De La Salle University

Teaching as a profession assumes different meanings and definitions and it is always depending on the practitioners’ ultimate goal. Accepting it as an art does not lessen the concern for the methods and techniques employed in transmitting knowledge. Teaching should be adjusted to the needs of the learners. As such, it is imperative to determine first the difficulties and needs so that whatever materials a teacher purports to design should be in accordance with these needs. And this is what is known as directional teaching. This means that it is an assurance of more achievements in teaching than mere teaching without any sound basis. Considerably, the contribution of teachers teaching and in the learning outcomes are widely recognized. Towards it, the teacher’s effectiveness has more impact on the students learning than any other factor which are under the control of school systems, including its class size, school size, and the quality of school programs. (Rivkin et al., 2005) The language of instruction and literacy skills among pupils in Philippine schools are foreign and incomprehensible to more than 70% of Filipino students. This is a phenomenon which is also common to many other countries in Asia and throughout the world. At present the curriculum for Grade – I to III, the medium of instruction used in the classroom is the mother tongue. Mother Tongue, also known as native language or first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period or that a one speaks the best and so is often used as the basis for sociolinguistic identity. In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language of one's ethnic group rather than one's first language. Sometimes, there can be more than one mother tongue, when the child's parents speak different languages. These children are usually called bilingual speakers. The origin of the term "mother tongue" harks back to the notion that the linguistic skills of a child are honed by the mother and therefore the language spoken by the mother would be the primary language that the child would learn."--this type of culture-specific notion is totally a misnomer. The term was used by Catholic monks to designate a particular language they used, instead of Latin, when they are "speaking from the pulpit". That is, the "holy mother of the Church" introduced this term and colonies inherited it from the Christianity as a part of their colonial legacy. The process was realized through the efforts made by foreign missionaries in the transitional period of switching over from 18th century that was during Mercantile Capitalism to 19th century during Industrial Capitalism time in India. In some countries such as Kenya, India, and various East Asian countries, "mother language" or "native language" was used to indicate the language of one's ethnic group, in both common and journalistic parlance (e.g. 'I have no apologies for not learning my mother tongue'), rather than one's first language. Likewise, in Singapore, "mother tongue" refers to the language of one's ethnic group regardless of actual proficiency, while the "first language" refers to the English language that was established on the island through the British colonization, which was termed as the lingua franca for most post-independence Singaporeans due to its use as the language of instruction in government schools and as a working language.

DepEd Order No. 16 s. 2012, states that starting School Year 2012-2013, the Mother Tongue-Based-Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) shall be implemented in all public schools, specifically from Kindergarten, Grade 1, 2, and 3 to invade, and this is part of the K to 12 Basic...
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