|Posted on August 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
At the height of the plagiarism uproar at the Philippine Senate, the issue of intellectual property rights has once again come to the fore. As an educator, here are some lessons I’ve learned and taught to avoid plagiarism.
Lesson 1: Cite your source.
The most fundamental rule when using someone else's ideas in your own paper or speech – whether through a direct quote, a paraphrase or a summary – is to always cite the source. This includes not only academic research, but also both old and recent readings, which have eventually become part of your stock knowledge. At the end of the day, every writer should realize that she or he still owes these ideas to the source.
Applying this rule would have prevented the lifting of excerpts from the blog of Sarah Pope who said, "I don't like the fact that my blog was used without my permission against the education of the women of the Philippines and their reproductive rights. That is the issue and it was indeed plagiarism"
Lesson 2: There is such a thing as a "source in another source."
Sotto's use of Sarah Pope's blog entry would have been all right had he and his staff understood what is known in academic circles as citing a "source in another source." Sotto or his aides should have said something like, “According to Natasha Campbell-McBride who is quoted in Ms. Pope’s blog…” Pope has good reason to claim that the Senator and his staff used her paraphrase of Campbell-McBride’s ideas without acknowledging Pope’s authorship.
Pope said: "If his staff did it, he (Sotto) condoned it. He is responsible for your actions. My blog was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words."
|Posted on June 12, 2012 at 4:35 AM||comments (0)|
As a mother, I shiver at the thought of seeing my very own children howl with the jargon kids normally learn in the confines of PC gaming centers. Of course, at times, I marvel at how skillful these very young children are in mastering a different kind of a game-a virtual game at that. The problem, however, is that with only their psychomotor skills developed, I wonder how they would appreciate a rather subtle, more refined and rageless way of entertaining themselves, which is reading.
It can never be denied that this age is one of information and entertainment. People, kids and adults alike, get hooked on computers and other cyberspace brouhaha because they want to be both informed and entertained. Reading at present, although informative and entertaining as it is, already pales in comparison to the popularity of PC’s,various apps, and other visual-virtual gadgets.
Obviously, reading can’t be compared to a touch-pad game or to surfing the net. Neither going on-line nor exchanging ideas with other people around the globe through chatrooms, skype,twitter, and emails can match the pleasure and fulfillment one derives from reading. However, no matter how beautifully repackaged reading is nowadays,many people would still reason out that reading is simply not cut out for them. They are either too busy or too quizzed out to find time for reading. Although reading is a form of entertainment, it also requires concentration unlike online games which require nothing but meaningless physical agility. This is primarily the reason why reading now is often relegated to the back row. Unlike online games, reading is an activity that offers a reward that cannot be reaped instantaneously and unconditionally. One only gets rewarded if he does the job required-to think, to imagine, to create.
|Posted on May 22, 2012 at 4:05 AM||comments (0)|
With globalization propelled by technological breakthroughs in communication strongly felt, one of the things that has been radically affected is the need for the English language. The demand has never been this much in man's history. Ever. With it comes the need to develop people's English language skills. For those in-the-know, it is a no-brainer to realize that people who don't have English as their first language turn out most vulnerable. They are the non-native speakers of the English language or the NNS's. If one looks around in Southeast Asia, for example, the mantra to do things the native speaker's way is undeniable. Corollary to this, surveys and research suggest that non-native speakers have eventually developed a kind of thinking making them feel inferior despite their relevant training, qualifications and their innate capability to develop their own English language skills to the fullest. Trendy this practice might have become, it is, nevertheless, important to know and understand the pedagogical implications that surround this issue, if only to bring out more benefits non-native speakers have overlooked for so long a time. Knowing and understanding issues relating to linguistic models certainly help a learner have a sense of direction and purpose in his language development.
One very common model used these days is the "standard English" framework. Andy Kirkpatrick, in his article "No experience necessary?" maintained that there really is no "standard English" as it is simply an idealized form that only exists in grammar books and discussion. He further said that the kind of English commonly spoken around in many English language schools "is likely to be a regional variety of English and one that differs, particularly phonologically, from the idealised standard in significant ways." Trained or untrained, the problematic question such a model poses is this: Whose variety should a second language speaker follow? In the first place, is there really a need to follow/ use a single variety as a model? Has there ever been a statement made by authorities, such as TESOL, declaring that some varieties are acceptable and others are not? I have yet to see one.
Another false assumption is that a native speaker's way of using the language is the perfect model for all language learners. People need to understand that English is an international language. With 1, 350 million second language speakers as opposed to 337 million native-tongue speakers, clearly there is no stopping to the trend categorizing English more as a lingua franca. In Jennifer Jenkins The Phonology of English as an International Language, she argued that the English Language Teaching (ELT) pedagogy has "to adjust its methodologies in line with this changing pattern, in which the goal of learning is more often to be able to use English as a lingua franca in communication with other 'non-native speakers,' i.e. as an international language than as a foreign language in communication with it's 'native speakers.'" Among non-native speakers alone, a wide host of varieties already exists. To impose a model on one group based on a single variety will not only violate legitimate language teaching-learning principles, but will also defy educational principles by which every self-respecting educationist abides.
If following any of the above-mentioned models does not come across as appropriate, what then can those in search of the linguistic holy grail use?
One reasonable way, yet possibly not exactly appealing to some, is to confront one's self and accept the fact that it is perfectly within realistic, practical, pedagogic, and logical bounds to sound non-native when you are a non-native speaker. This does not mean that one should simply lower the bar and expect others to carry out and enjoy prolonged English conversations with him even if he sounds utterly incomprehensible. This does not mean that learners should abandon every effort to reach a language level required by an organization to which one is applying either as a student or an employee. Striving, in fact, for a near-native or native-like competencies should still be one of the goals, if only for the reward that comes with it. However, working on one's English language skills should be done within reasonable limits.
Again, from a practical, pedagogic, and realistic perspective, finding a non-native speaker model presents to be a good jump-off point. However, as there is really no single recipe to doing this or universal ingredients to arriving at the perfect formula, the ELT pedagogy should instead be more sensitive to the unique needs of every language user within and across various learning contexts.
Times are changing and the role the English language plays in the lives of its users continues to change as well. And so should the people's attitude towards it be.