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Language Class Saga

John Mark I. Balbanero

· Volume I Issue I

No matter how much passion you have for something, you, surely, would come to a phase when you would think you want to escape from it, not because you are tired but because you are bombarded with so many troubles you have a hard time coping up with. However, at the end of the day, you would realize, it’s worth all the pain in the neck and the humps on the way because of the fifth word in this paragraph.

For two years that I have been teaching in the public school, I could say that I had faced a lot of struggles that I was able to overcome. Nevertheless, I still get to meet them from time to time. But say what? Who says everything should come as easy as ABC? These are some of the things which I have observed and/or experienced in my class.

1. Unpreparedness of students (including prior)

The very reason why students have a hard time coping up with a lesson is their unpreparedness. More often than not, students would never read the lesson we would ask them to study. It becomes harder for them since they would not have the background of the topic that we are discussing to them. They might feel lost and would lose the interest since they would feel like they are not part of the class.

2. Resistance of students to talk or to recite
This is probably the MOST common problem we meet every day. Students are very resistant to speak when they are called. It is very seldom that our class would have an active participation. Some say they are shy, and some would even admit that they could not speak English. Some say they are scared, and some just do not like because they are afraid that their classmates might bully them. Some do not even want to try because they are anxious to commit mistakes. These reasons might have grown from their lack of practice or absence of skills they should have developed for years.

3. Confusion of students to the given instruction
Sometimes, students have a hard time comprehending the given instructions. We would give the instructions then one would ask what to do, then one would ask the same thing, again, and again (repeat ‘till fade). It is somehow frustrating (and irritating) at times, but this is a problem we have to aid immediately.

4. Too much dependence of students to the teacher
“Sir what’s the English of ____?”
Yes. Like we are a walking dictionary and as if we know everything, in an instant.
This usually happens when students are asked to write an essay. Sometimes, students do not make an effort to think of a specific word they have to use in the sentence. There are also times that students would even ask us to translate the whole sentence for them. Students tend to be too dependent on us if they are used of doing this. Students do not improve their critical thinking because we are providing everything they need. I myself am a culprit on this, but I plan to steer clear of this.

Well, there is nothing wrong in asking questions, but not to the point that they would lose themselves.

5. Persistence of students to use Tagalog/Filipino 
“Sir, pwede po Tagalog?”


Since we use English as a medium of instruction, we expect our students to respond and to write in English. It is kind of frustrating that they even attempt to ask that question without even thinking if they should really enquire that. However, it is, in a way, understandable. Perhaps they really want to reply or to answer, but they could not express themselves using the language. Nevertheless, it should not be done.

Students would only improve their skills in using the language if they practice using it. As English teachers, we have to require our students to utilize the language. It is very important that we let our students realize why they have to use the language

These are just some of the many problems, we, teachers face. There would surely be more problems that await in the future. Strangely, I look forward to be experiencing them.

Every challenge that we meet every day surely teaches us something new. Each of it certainly edifies the best in us. Each of it definitely makes us the best versions of ourselves.

Whatever plans we have in the future, we have to make sure part of it all is finding a remedy to whatever circumstance that crosses our paths. We have to always remind ourselves that the seventh word in this paragraph lies in our hands.