Filipino teachers (ajarns) try sign language in teaching English to non-handicapped Thai students at English camp

December 01, 2014 at 6:04 AM

FATE Filipino English camp group photo.jpgThe Filipino Ajarns Toward Education (FATE) has reached out for sign language; a tool for the deaf and mute, to facilitate the teaching of English to non-handicapped Thai students and supplement the shortfall of action songs.

“Action songs are effective learning tools. For instance, the song “If You’re Happy” can associate the word “happy” with “clap your hands,” the word “angry” with “stomp your feet,” and so on,” says Mary Rose Alberto, a coordinator of Filipino Ajarns Toward Education (FATE) at the Keera-pat International School (KPIS).

She, however, laments the difficulty of traditional actions songs to act out full sentences or phrases.

“Sign language can convey sentences and phrases more easily with simple finger and hand gestures, a handy visual tool,” she says.

At their free English camp, FATE taught over 90 children how to sing and act out the lyrics of FATE’s theme song “We are Friends,” which they wrote to the tune of “This Old Man” or more popularly known as the “Barney – I Love You” nursery song.

A one and a half music video of the English camp is posted on FATE's webpage, along with another four minutes longer video. Link to 1.27 minutes music video. Link to 4 minutes full video.

"Using simplified sign language is fun and helps children learn English better because they serve as visual references to what are being learned," says Abigail Alvarez, the English camp MC and a FATE member from KPIS.

 "The English camp activities by Filipino teachers are really fun. I wish to learn more English sentences and vocabularies related to real life situations. I wish to improve my conversation skills and learn how to string together words into sentences. This English camp helps us complement our classroom English lessons, too," says Narawan Khumlanghan, a grade six student.

"The English camp is good because we are able to practice our English. We get the chance to construct sentences using new and familiar words and have fun while doing it," says Nutwaree Mene, a grade nine student.

Grade three student Janjira Jantabut, together with grade two students Pornsawan Pailin, Kanyarat Aerin and Anuchit Munlakorn said they were very happy after hearing that a two-day-free English camp would be held at their school.

“We learnt many things. We had opportunities to speak in English with Filipino teachers. They are fun to study with and their teaching style is very good. We wish they could teach us every month.”

Dr Pranee Nookhao, the director of the government-run Wat Kaew Silaram School at Phanat Nikhom, Chonburi thanked the 12 Filipino teachers and FATE members, and other volunteers, for holding a free, fun-filled and motivating English conversation camp at their school from 15-16 November 2014.

The Filipino volunteers and one Thai, come from five schools, namely: Daruna Ratchaburi School, Keera-pat International School (KPIS), Siam International, Sarasas Witaed Suvarnabhumi and Minburi.

“It is with great pride and joy to congratulate Filipino Ajarns Toward Education (Fate) for spearheading the English Camp. Kudos to all Teacher Volunteers as well who shared their time and effort to make this activity a reality. KPIS International School remains steadfast in its commitment to support outreach programs such as English camps for our neighbouring Thai communities,” says Ms Dew Intakanok, Director for Academics (KPIS). 

Keera-pat International School (KPIS), which provided funds to the camp, is represented by six teachers and volunteers, including Abigail L Alvarez, Genevieve D Albades, Khristin Eve B Culajara, Margrette Rozen G Paraiso and Mary Rose G Alberto.

Sincere Florife R. Bagaboyboy and Zennaida Paler are from Siam International School: Roshenna May Rioja and Yvon Claire P Lacson  are from Sarasas Witaed Suvarnabhumi and and another male teacher from Sarasas Witaed Minburi.

Carmel Grace C Mabale of Daruna Ratchaburi School in Rachaburi province hopped on several vans all the way to Phanat Nikhom just to join the English camp.

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Dr Pranee Nookhao, the director of Wat Kaew Silaram School, thanked the members of Filipino Ajarns Toward Education (FATE) and other volunteers, including Roshenna May Rioja, Abigail L. Alvarez, Margrette Rozen G. Paraiso, Genevieve D. Albades, Khristin Eve B. Culajara, Yvon Claire P. Lacson, Sincere Florife R. Bagaboyboy, Garner Sagulo, Roma Amor Rioja, Zennaida Paler and Carmel Grace C. Mabale.