On different dates scheduled from May 15 to May 29, faculty members from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Department of English delivered lectures online on their respective areas of expertise. The topics included teaching in the new normal, curriculum mapping, promoting and respecting Intellectual Property Rights, remote teaching of Purposive Communication, Reading as tool for empowerment. The series of online lectures were organized by the Department Chair Prof. Rachelle B. Lintao, Ph.D., and were conducted as part of the University’s preparation for the ‘new normal’ mode of instructional delivery in response to the government’s call to educational institutions in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assoc. Prof. Alejandro S. Bernardo, Ph.D. and Assoc. Prof. Andres Julio V. Santiago, Ph.D. from the Department of English delivered online lectures titled “COVID-19, ECQ, and ELT: English Language Teaching in the New (ab)Normal” and “Curriculum Mapping in Tertiary Level Education” respectively.

Bernardo, the Assistant Dean of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters and a renowned speaker on the English Language Instruction and World Englishes, discussed the challenges faced by English language instructors in the current health crisis that has redesigned the educational landscape. He highlighted that research studies should be conducted on digital teaching methods, especially on online collaborative learning. He mentioned certain realities in online collaborative learning, such as its challenges. He also noted that most online activities that are uploaded on discussion boards have minimal dialogue or conversations with students.

Santiago’s lecture focused on the benefits of curriculum mapping in the tertiary level. He emphasized that curriculum mapping aims to achieve vertical, horizontal, subject area and interdisciplinary coherence.

Lawyer and UST English Language teacher Selenne Anne Santiago-Leynes, delivered an online lecture on ‘The Role of ELT in promoting and respecting Intellectual Property Rights.’ Contextualizing “ELT” to mean English Language Teachers and English Language Teaching, Atty. Leynes emphasized that as English language teachers, they should be adept with relevant jurisprudence, and legal provisions concerning intellectual property rights such as R.A. No. 8293 or Intellectual Property Code. Teachers should know the practices and policies of the school involving intellectual property rights. English language teaching, according to Leynes, should include discussions on plagiarism and how to prevent its commission, or even special topics on intellectual property rights/copyright. She reiterated that English teachers play a vital role since outputs in classes – both oral and written – are products of literary and artistic creations, and thus are protected under the Copyright Law.  Hence, teachers need to be at the forefront in promoting and respecting intellectual property rights so students can reflect the practices in their own personal and scholastic life.

Another online lecture was delivered by Ms. Elizabeth Kapulong where she shared insights on Purposive Communication, the English Language course that has been taught in the college level when the curriculum was changed as a result of the K-12 curriculum. She highlighted the importance of teacher’s familiarity and availability among students that are classified as Generation X and Generation Z who use social media platforms that develop their digital vocabulary. Teachers should learn to cope with different academic realities that include change in the educational delivery, such as the remote delivery of Purposive Communication. She also shared that critical thinking in Purposive Communication can be achieved through recognizing and understanding different perceptions.

Reading and writing are skills that students have to be competent at to have a successful academic life. Dr. Rosalyn Mirasol, the current Vice-President of the Reading Association of the Philippines, talked about the importance of reading as a tool for empowerment. She emphasized that reading empowers individuals through deeper intellectual curiosity, critical literacy, and by providing joy and contentment. She also suggested that the following be considered: non-cognitive assessments such as reader’s interests, motivations and attitudes of readers as well as the materials they are exposed to. Teachers should be able to show the connection between the texts and its application. In this way, the understanding and valuation of reading can give satisfaction to both teachers and students.

 

UST Department of English, Linguistic Society of the Philippines co-host Technology, ELT Webinar

 

The UST Department of English, together with Linguistic Society of the Philippines (LSP), hosted a webinar on technology and ELT on June 20, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon via Zoom.

Titled “ELT(echnology): Teaching English in the ‘Now’ Normal,” the webinar featured the following speakers: Dr. Willy Renandya from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Dr. Camilla Vizconde from the UST Department of English; and, Dr. Dennis Pulido from the Linguistic Society of the Philippines and Far Eastern University.

The webinar was open to the public.