How is Filipino subject taught in your schools?

I was supposed to post this last Thursday. But my PC kinda died out again. I’m glad it’s back to life now. But the conking and dying-out episodes are getting too scary-close together, methinks. So I am seriously shopping for a new one, preferably a notebook computer. Technohub finally gave the thumbs-up. Woohoo!


I’m blogging really early today.

VGood and I had to wake up very early this morning so we could do her homework. We were unable to work on it last night because she was dead-tired and snoring soundly when we arrived home. It usually happens. So I let her get the rest she needed, instead of waking her up and risk making her cranky.

This morning we did a Filipino home-reading assignment. The way Filipino home-reading assignments and tests are patterned in my kids’ school sucks big-time!

Dig this, if you can: on the first page, there is a 2- or 3-paragraph short story in Filipino. Makatang Filipino. This short-story was never taught to them beforehand. It will be the first time my 1st-grade daughter and her classmates will be reading it.

Right below will be a series of questions. The first part of questions will have to do with choosing the correct definition of words used in the story. The second part will usually tackle reading comprehension.

This pattern of testing applies to all grade levels (I’m not sure with high school though). The stories become deeper and longer as the grade level goes up.

My big problem with this is that the story was never taught in school. There was zero to minimal effort on the part of the teacher because, well, she never taught the story in the first place. No discussions were made.

When I first brought this up during a PTC (parent-teacher conference), all the teacher could do was shrug and say “That’s just the way it is.” And she even went on to say “Dapat po kasi stock knowledge na yan ng bata.”

Huh??? Stock knowledge? Tell me again why I’m sending my kids to school??? If this is the way it’s going to be, aren’t we better off home-schooling?

I’m aware that kids today need to learn Filipino, because, admittedly, most kids I know are more comfortable speaking in English than with our own national language. But there must be a more effective way of teaching it to our kids than depending on us, parents, to supply the stock knowledge.

How is Filipino taught in your kids’ schools?

14 thoughts on “How is Filipino subject taught in your schools?

  1. ganyan sa former school ng anak ko. what did we do? we pulled him out 😉 i don’t always recommend that though, i understand na maraming factors.

  2. I never worry about this because I homeschool my kids. Julian usually studies by himself, even the stories. But he has to ask me about certain words which are very, very “malalim” meaning, “what?” ang sagot ko sa question niya.

    The words? huwaran, kinakaon, matagumpay, matiwasay. Ganun lang naman 😀

    Eh yung mayakap nga, he doesn’t know what that word is, lol!

    Try to read together and re-tell the story, like you are explaining what has happened so she can understand it better.

    Hope this helped.

  3. @ Cess: So it means it’s the standard way/prescribed way of teaching the subject across all private schools?

    @julie: it’s precisely what we’re doing – we read Filipino stories together, or re-read the stories in tests. And that’s the point: e di mag homeschooling nalang kami..?

    Ano ibig sabihin ng kinakaon? hehe

  4. I brought this up with the directress of my kids’ school very recently. Kasi nga si Gaby will be doing her entrance exams for the big school na eh she can hardly speak Filipino. She said naman that she will eventually learn in the big school kasi they “should” teach it. Trabaho ko lang is to reinforce by speaking it regularly. Nasa kanila pa din ang trabaho, if you know what I mean.

  5. Hi cookie!
    Ideally naman talaga the teachers should teach it. But the way it’s happening in the real world, well at least in our school, eh AKO dapat ang magtuturo. Parang feeling ng teachers pang supplement lang sila. Baligtad eh?

    Kaya patok na patok na business ngayon ang mga tutorial centers – dahil sa ganitong pamamaraan ng pagtuturo. Hindi nagtuturo kundi nag tetest lang. 🙁

    Good luck with Gaby! 🙂

  6. reading plus comprehension is a step higher na, yun pa kayang reading plus comprehension in Wikang Filipino. definitely, madugo yan on the part of the parents. pero sana naman, i consider ng school na dapat complementary ang effort ng parents with them, hindi yung solely it’s the parents obligation to guide the students.

  7. my son studies in lourdes and usually the stories in the Pluma book that they use they read during class. hindi ko lang alam if his teacher uses the technique that I use with my students in reading whether it be in english or filipino. my son is fluent naman in filipino because he had filipino subject even in pre-school.

    my students in GCF naman, they tell me that their Filipino teacher automatically translates words that they cannot understand. sa La Salle, some are assigned reading tasks sa Filipino. But most of the time yung activity sheets nila are done in school so kawawa ang batang hindi fluent sa Filipino. trabaho nanaman ng tutors, like me, to do supplemental teaching. todo translate nanaman ako with drawings and actions pa.

    anyway, as i said, reading a story whether its in Filipino or English should have 3 parts: pre-reading, during reading, and post reading.

    dapat ang pre-reading ang teacher gumagawa sa classroom. pre-reading means unlocking of difficult words and giving motivation questions. I remember during my elementary days, eto yung vocabulary words na ina-assign ng teacher tapos hahanapin ang definition at gagamitin sa sentence. pwede rin kasi i-assign ito a day before the story will be read in school. motivation can be done by doing an activity that will activate their prior knowledge about the topic covered in the story. siguro yun ang ibig sabihin nung teacher na stock knowledge. walang saysay yan kung hindi ia-activate ng teacher. this can be done by games, art activities, role play, etc.

    the actual reading of the story cannot be done by the student alone. the teacher still needs to guide the student by asking interactive questions every now and then. kaya nga mas maganda if it is read in class kasi kawawa ang mga batang walang tutors or guardians to assist them. what if may hindi siya naintindihan sa kalagitnaan ng story at iba pala ang interpretation niya.

    post reading activities (reading comprehension exercises) will be a breeze kung nagawa ng maayos yung first two parts. but personally, when I was still teaching in a formal school, I don’t jump into the individual comprehension activity immediately. kailangan muna ng pairwork or groupwork para mapukpok yung understanding nila about the story. iba-iba naman kasi ang comprehension levels ng bata. doing a comprehension activity with a classmate will help the student understand the lesson more.

    🙂 Mauie

  8. Hi Mauie! Thank you for the very enlightening comment.

    So there is a way to do it then! Kasi naaawa na ako kay V. She really is frustrated with the Filipino words, as the other kids who are not so Filipino-fluent are.

    I will try again to talk to the Filipino department of our school. It sometimes gets too frustrating talking to ultra-traditional schools. Because they think theirs is the only way to do things.

    Thanks again for the insights – very helpful. 🙂

  9. Right now Yohan still doesn’t have Filipino subject. Next year, when he turns Prep he will experience the subject for the first time. I confess that I have neglected teaching Yohan the Filipino language. He only speaks English. It was only this year that he started understanding some Filipino words but he still doesn’t know how to speak the language. I was advised to start teaching him to speak Filipino in preparation for next year. Kids are fast learners and I’m hoping that I won’t have a hard time teaching Yohan.

    Next week is Linggo ng Wika. Parents are requested to buy a Filipino story book. I was able to find one at National Bookstore with large pictures and one-liners per page. It’s a nice book. I will try to post it on my blog.

  10. Ang pagtuturo ng Filipino o ng kahit na anong aralin ay iba’t iba po. Ito po ay nakasalig sa kung ano ang kailangan paunlarin sa bata. Kaya nga po ang mga guro ay nahihirapan i-personalize ang mga aralin batay sa pangangailangan ng bata. Marami po kasi sila. Upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng lahat ng bata ay maaari pong maghanda ang guro ng iba’t ibang gawain. Minsan mahirap ipaliwanag sa mga magulang kung ano ang ginagawang pamamaraan ng guro kasi ang mga guro lamang ang nagkakaintindihan. para bagang sila (ang mga guro) ay may sariling lenggwahe tulad ng mga engineers o doctors.

  11. Hi!! currently i am teaching Filipino subject in Prep. so far mahirap sa part ko dahil mostly hindi marunong ang mga bata magsalita ng filipino. by the way i live here in Bohol, so ang nagyayari sa akin everyday encounter i had to translate in English some words they find difficult at kung minsan hindi ma nila makuha i translate it to bisaya. see my dilemma. when it comes to reading, i really have to pre-read it with them before i ask thm to answers all the questions that follow as their homework.

  12. yah………Filipino is a great subject for me but sometimes i had the hardest way to understand some lessons ……..that’s why i’m failing my subject but as a result i must try harder to understand lesson………our teacher is good ..if were not even to understand she helps us…………..TO ALL TEACHERS TAUHT WELL TO YOUR PUPILS OR STUDENTS>…………….TNX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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