Language Program hosts webinar series on language, languages and languaging

Language Program hosts webinar series on language, languages and languaging

The three-part discussion on the nature of language, language varieties and multilingualism, and language teaching and learning in the digital age completed the three-part webinar series for language educators hosted by the University of the Philippines Visayas Language Program (UPV LP). 

Conducted on Sept. 29, 2021, the third installment was graced by the expertise of Professor Ron Darvin from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Prof. Darvin explained the use of digital platforms in language education. 

“When I say being able to understand communication across these platforms, it means to understand that technologies are used for different purposes and therefore how we use language, the conventions of use, will shift depending on the purposes of these different platforms,” said Prof. Darvin when asked about a way to help improve learner comprehension during the age of digital developments. 

On the other hand, Dr. Ruanni Tupas from University College London, during the second leg of the series on Sept. 1, 2021, left the participants with a note related to being a multilingual language educator. 

“I do not describe myself as a non-native teacher of English. I describe myself as a multilingual teacher of English because my being multilingual is something that I positively value because it is something that helps me become a better teacher of English,” remarked Dr. Tupas, who expounded on linguistic differences during his talk. 

The pilot episode of the webinar series was conducted on Aug. 18, 2021, with Dr. Ma. Althea Enriquez, Associate Professor from UP Diliman, as the resource person. The pilot focused on the nature of language and language change. 

When questioned on the effectiveness of code-switching, Dr. Enriquez responded that if the said approach facilitates learning, then that approach is “fine”.  She also added, “We also have to understand that the spoken language in itself, the written language in itself, and the methods of communication, the speaking, writing, are in different categories.” 

Explaining the aims of the UPV LP in organizing the webinar series Asst. Professor Jessie L. Labiste Jr., faculty in charge, said that they want to offer an opportunity for language teachers to view language not just as a performance or an object but also as a feature of experience.

Free and open to everyone, the online webinar series was attended by participants from the whole archipelago and even participants from countries such as Azerbaijan, Namibia, USA, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Kore, Saudi Arabia, Moldova, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia, India, UK, Canada, Spain, Japan, and Oman among others.

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