More public libraries needed in Phl to promote literacy
Michael H. Braga/ATO (The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A second language acquisition expert from the United States is calling for the establishment of more public libraries in the Philippines as one way of eradicating illiteracy.

Stephen Krashen, University of Southern California professor emeritus and researcher, explained to The Freeman that “poor” children do not read very well because of the absence of libraries. He said that money allocated for assessment tests should be allotted to the construction of libraries.

“Huge amount of money are put into testings. The money should go to libraries. If you put libraries, the reading scores go up,” Krashen stressed in one of the sessions of Pan-Asian Consortium-Philippine Association of Language Teaching (PAC-PALT) Conference on Language Education.

Krashen, however, clarified that he is not pushing for the elimination of conducting tests and exams. Instead, he proposes for its reduction as he considers it a threat in attaining a high level of academic language.

He explained that one excels in universities not by studying and having hard work but being a pleasure reader. In reading, one can also find his interest in some areas, said Krashen.

“Research shows reading is much more powerful than studying. The goal of the school is to find out where you are good at, that you like, that helps people. We are all different,” he added.

As to the language acquisition, Krashen reiterated that one cannot learn a language by directly studying it. It begins with stories from the parents and books that one wants.

Further, Krashen appeals to the educators to provide lot of books and aid the students in finding their interests rather than rushing for being the first wave to buy new learning technologies.

“Computer companies are pushing educators to be first wave, they want us to buy the latest and the most expensive, and no money left for books, no money left for libraries,” he told The FREEMAN.

PALT head Milagros Laurel expressed the enthusiasm of the organization to look after the teachers’ welfare in terms of professional growth and to help them in delivering quality instructions.

“We have to work together. Education, we see it as one way by which we can help in improving the condition of our people. PALT will do its share in National development,” she told The Freeman.

Local and foreign language educators convened Thursday for the PAC-PALT conference which culminates today.

Philippines, particularly Cebu City, was chosen as the host for the international conference.—  (FREEMAN)

CEBU CITY KRASHEN LANGUAGE LANGUAGE EDUCATION MILAGROS LAUREL ONE PAN-ASIAN CONSORTIUM-PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF LANGUAGE TEACHING STEPHEN KRASHEN UNITED STATES UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
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