Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SMS Meeting with CLPA

Speaking of foreign students, our SMS team had a meeting with CLPA yesterday. Included in the discussion is the possibility of integrating a test for foreign students (yes, a TOEFL type of test) in the Admission testing process. Currently, SMS have been doing a separate placement testing for foreigners (as to who will go to the regular English classes and who will go to the English and Filipino for foriegn students).

We will call for a meeting with English Area reps, Filipino Area reps, Foreign Students Unit, Registrar's office, CLPA, and the Admissions Office to discuss our proposed programs and explore possible interventions for them.

Also, in the discussion, we agreed that it is high time we look at the importance of testing as a regular procedure. Marife, the CLPA director, gave me the impression that there is still a stigma of sorts when one is called to undergo testing (especially one that is psychological in nature). People still have the misconception (as they do in going to a counselor or psychologist), that going through such means that you are a mental case. Not necessarily. It should not be viewed as an insult to ask teachers (applicants or even invited professors) and students to go through psychological testing. It is supposed to be seen as an opprotunity to find out more about ourselves rather than view it as a mere tool to label your "disorder". Besides, CLPA has a good set of standardized tests and they have a good number of well-trained people who can help develop, administer, and use these tests. Why not optimize the services that they have been very willing to share?

Overall, the almost four hours FGD and meeting with CLPA was well worth our time. We all learned from each other. Proof of an organic system's continuous quest to grow by learning from each unit.


At 12:06 PM , Blogger Carlo said...

In line with the intervention for the foreign students, I have conducted a series of research on the language aquisition of Chinese, Taiwanese and Koreans studying in the Philippines. The major problem is their ability to comprehend certain Englsih words and their ability to communicate verbally. We are able to test out a model where certain language learning strategies are used by these foreigners to acquire English as their second language. These startegies are based on Oxfords' (1980) model on language learning. These strategies deemed useful are cognitive (they need to think in English), affective (they feel a great need to speak in English), metacognitive (they are aware of other strategies in learning English), compensation (using devices if they don't know an English word), social (they need to talk and read more English materials), and memory (they need to remeber new words learned). The good thing is that these strategies can be taught and used a teaching strategy as part of Learner-ceneteredness. Also another finding from our study is that in order to be more fluent in English, they need to be more exposed to it. Exposure comes in being contact with the English langauge in different situations and across a long period of time. The longer that they stay in the Philippines, the more they speak better in English. Check out the previous issues of PERSPECTIVE for some details and the Asian EFL journal in the future-one of the study will be published soon.

At 12:43 PM , Blogger soc bacay said...

May i request that the foreign students liaison officer be invited in future meetings?

At 12:47 PM , Blogger Zaldi said...

Wow, great sharing Carlo! I will talk to Odie of CLCIR about your suggestion re using these learning and teaching strategies.

At 3:17 PM , Blogger Acid42 said...

I am all for the TOEFL type test.
Because really , in a 14-week term, there is no time to teach sound design AND english comprehension simultaneously.

- lionel valdellon

At 6:56 PM , Blogger Zaldi said...

I agree Lionel. We are looking at this in a comprehensive way and will determine the implications of the increasing number of foreign students on admissions, language classes, instruction, remediation, etc.

A TOEFL-like test could very well be part of the recommendations arising from the study.

At 1:19 PM , Blogger Caths Deen said...

I am very glad that this discussion is happening. This is one of the concerns I have in the Admissions Center. I strongly suggest that we set an institutional requirement for English language proficiency using international standards (i.e., TOEFL or IELTS). There are accredited institutions that administer these tests so the College need not develop such tests anymore. In order to serve our clients better, I strongly believe that we should admit students who have working knowledge in English. I heard from someone that Ateneo de Manila has set a TOEFL requirement for international students. We can do the same for DLS-CSB...

At 3:34 PM , Blogger Cristine E. Saldivar said...

Hi, everyone! Yes, we have been looking at a TOEFL type of test but we are also hoping that, maybe (just maybe, for now), we can work closely with CLPA with regard to the admission instrument that they are studying now and see if they can either integrate the test there or if we will still need to buy the standardized one. Again, we are hoping to meet with all the units involved in this and we hope to work on all the angles in our services for foreign students. Thank you, Carlo for the inputs, maybe we can also invite you in our future meeting(?). In my meeting with the SMS English Area Chairperson, Ms. Joey Jawid, we agreed that it's about time we provide more suitable interventions for our foreign students, especially since several of our English teachers have already completed their TESL (Teaching English as Secondary Language). And we have quite a set of English teachers with Communication background. I'd also like to clarify that even if we will have this kind of (TOEFL) test, that we will not use this as a screening test. Not because the foreigners will fail the test would this mean we will not accept them. This intervention is being explored so that we will have a better structure in placing them to classes/programs/interventions that tailor-fit their needs. I am just not sure about requiring them to take the TOEFL test outside (since this may not be as pleasing to them), but we will still explore this idea. Thanks to your comments, we now have more ideas to explore! Anyone else with other suggestions? :)

At 9:43 AM , Blogger Carlo said...

I agree with the idea that the TOEFL test is just a way to determine which area the foreign students are poor at in their English proficiency. And to accomplish this identification process, any equivalent test would suffice if the TOEFL is not available. The group of Ms. Tina Sison in LASU (CLPA)can take care of the testing and finding a suitable test that would factor out the weaknesses of students in English proficiency. At far the question lies in the kind of intervention that will be given to the foreign students having difficulty in English? I think the professors handling the Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean students would be the first hand implementors of whatever intervention is given. Whatever kind of intervention will be given, are the teachers willing to go that extra mile in helping out the foreign students? Unless a pull out system will be implemented. I am glad to hear that many ways are being explored. In case there are meetings you can inoform me the schedule through e-mail at magnoc@dls-csb.edu.ph


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