HomeLEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journalvol. 33 no. 1 (2010)

The Mother-Tongue as a Factor in Language Acquisition

Ma. Lourdes Veronica S. Abad | Ruth Quintillan-bugas

Discipline: Education, Languages

 

Abstract:

The role of mother-tongue in learning Filipino was explored by using secondary survey data from 219 Grade 4 respondents, 213 from Grade 7, and 233 from fourth year high school. These students have gone through all the levels of schooling across the basic education units of Miriam College. Two survey instruments were used: a 13-item form for Grades 4 and 7 answerable by a 4-point scale and a 22-item form for fourth year high school answerable by a 5-point scale.

Multivariate analysis was done with the students' educational level and language spoken at home as the independent variables. The dependent variables were the survey items that measured students' perception of the Filipino language and how they learned it. Results reveal that the learners' mother tongue has an impact on the learning of the Filipino language. Pure English speakers regardless of grade level, encounter difficulty in acquiring competencies in learning the Filipino language, while pure Filipino or combined Filipino-English speakers are more certain about their views of the Filipino language and the quality of learning experiences. Findings also highlight the notion that bilinguals have an edge in the pursuit of language development as against English monolinguals. Moreover, a valuable insight to the reality that Filipino is not held in high esteem, thus posing a threat to the development of national identity was provided. These suggest that the challenge to teach Filipino in creative ways has become imperative.