Tag Archives: education

What is Experiential Learning?

What is experiential learning? This article describes this learning approach, presents a model of how it works and gives an example. It also enumerates the four steps of the learning process and the elements needed for learners to gain knowledge.

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is founded on the idea that learning takes place among students by giving them the experience to do what is expected of them. Kolb (1984) defines learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” It does not follow the conventional one-way lecture approach where students become passive listeners. Learning takes place when students desire to gain the knowledge they seek. Thus, teachers need to guide students through the process of learning by experience.

The philosophy behind experiential learning is that students learn best when allowed to discover new things and experiment on the outcomes of an action firsthand, instead of just hearing or reading about the experiences of others. Students learn after they have reflected on their experiences, with the end in view of doing it better the next time they engage in such activity.

Model of Experiential Learning

The desire to learn varies among individuals. Hence, experiential learning focuses on the individual’s learning process.

Let us see how experiential learning takes place by presenting a model. A model is a representation of what scientists think about how it works. One of the popular models of experiential learning is that of Kolb (1984). The four-step experiential learning model is presented in the figure below.

what is experiential learning
Experiential learning model by Kolb (1984).

How is the model applied in real life situations? The following example will show how this model works.

Example of Experiential Learning

I employ experiential learning whenever a software application interests me. Being an open source enthusiast, I studied Lyx, an advanced open source document processor running on Linux. Nobody in my work environment knows how to use Lyx, so I learned by discovery.

Once the software has started, I just typed on the document processor and used the menu by clicking on it and selecting from the dropdowns. I discovered that a button, for example, sets the font in Italic in a way different from the word processors that I use. As the I go through the whole process, I discovered many other things or features of the software. Thus, I learn more things as I reflect on the effects of my action and apply what I have in mind.

Using the model, the following are the four steps of the learning process:

  1. Concrete experience: booting up the computer, installing Lyx, and opening the software for actual use;
  2. Active experimentation: playing with the menus;
  3. Reflective observation: discovering that the Menu labeled Edit contains the command to change the default font to italic, bold, among others,
  4. Abstract conceptualization: figuring out the use of other menus using the experience gained.

Elements of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning takes place even without a teacher around. However, learning becomes much more meaningful if the learner possesses the following characteristics:

  1. willing to engage actively in the activity,
  2. reflects on the experience,
  3. uses analytical skills, and
  4. able to decide and solve problems using new ideas gained from experience.


Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning as the science of learning and development. Prentice-Hall. 256pp.

University of Colorado (n.d.). What is experiential learning.  Retrieved on July 22, 2017 from http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/ExperientialLearning/about/Pages/WhatisExperientialLearning.aspx

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (July 22, 2017). What is Experiential Learning?. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2017/07/22/what-is-experiential-learning/

Innovations and Education in the 21st Century

What is the role of innovation in furthering education and vice-versa? The author reflects on current technological development and how this influenced man’s acquisition of knowledge and outcomes arising from application of derived innovations. Shall we tread on in our chosen path?

The society we are in at present is a product of evolved responses made by man through years of history. Human society, as we know it, originally consisted of a few people interacting with each other and its environment primarily to meet their basic needs for survival.

From the mere preoccupation with activities to satisfy a hungry stomach as in the early hunting and gathering stage where humans live a nomadic life, man progressed toward achieving self-sufficiency with lesser effort. Agricultural production with the aid of technology developed into a complex system as it is now. Crude, human-powered technologies advanced into mechanized or automated modes, thus increasing production to such levels so as to supply an increasing demand brought by a growing human population.

What caused these changes?

If we look closely, the primary motivation to achieve such changes comes from within the individuals that compose society. The desire to improve one’s plight spurs creativity. An idea to resolve a problem situation can motivate individuals to undertake significant steps to do better than status quo. These new ideas that get something done are what we usually call innovations.

Innovations change lives.

The Role of Innovations in Society

Innovations could change the direction the society takes. Moreover, innovations are shaped by stored knowledge provided by education or experience.

It is a known fact that education plays a great role in society’s development. In recent times, this has become very vital considering the fast pace of change accorded by the deluge of information provided by technology that connects thoughts from all over the world using computers.

We cannot discount the fact that information technology has influenced the way people build societies. It is now possible to exchange information in almost all corners of the world, even those areas that were previously thought to be isolated.

Schools, therefore, should not ignore this fact and subscribe itself to keep pace with changing times. Soon, physical presence may no longer be required in the exchange of information between mentor and students. Schools no longer monopolize the dissemination of knowledge. Knowledge pervades all nooks and crannies of any country through internet technology.

It is for this fact that serious attention must be given by schools, as a primary agent of change in society, to the quality of education imparted to the masses. The development path pursued by current education appears to be towards man’s undoing. The more our society progresses, the more problems that crop up. New technologies bring with it externalities that undermine the advances made.

Satisfying wants and achieving conveniences in living cause pollution, not only on the physical dimension but also on people’s values in life or morality. Almost always, increased crime rate is equated with development or urbanization.

Finally, as an empowering resource to individuals, knowledge through education should be provided in such a way that no area of human life is left unfulfilled. Focus must be on the individual’s, and thus, society’s total development. The ultimate goal is still there — to ensure human survival.

©2015 September 10 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (September 10, 2015). Innovations and Education in the 21st Century. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/09/10/innovations/

Issues on Education: The Government and the Educational System

This article is a reaction paper on the article written by Robert Arnove, Alberto Torres, Stephen Franz, and Kimberly Morse in 1996. The article is entitled, “A Political Sociology of Education and Development in Latin America: the conditioned state, neoliberalism, and educational policy.” The article seemed old and happened in Latin America, but the issues are important and relevant to other countries. In this article, I describe the situation of the Philippine educational system in relation to that in Latin America. If you are interested to know more about the relationship between issues on education and development, please read on.

As I scrutinized the article on the political sociology of education and development, I found many similarities to what were, and what are happenings in the Philippine educational system. There is a strong relationship between the kind of government and the system of education that a country can have. I expound more on the following discussion.

The Philippines, as a conditioned state, needs to protect itself from many internal and external threats; thus, placing more budget in the military than health care and social and humanitarian services like education. In effect, many teachers and other professionals flew abroad seeking for greener pasture. As a result, the country faces the brain-drain effect. Highly trained or intelligent people emigrated somewhere else. If the government is serious about addressing this problem, then it has to ally with different groups of society that would influence its actions in legislating and executing social policies.

Likewise, neoliberalism significantly affects the Philippine educational system because World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) favored the two policies of privatization and decentralization for improving educational efficiency. Neoliberalism involves prioritization of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state.

In my personal opinion, the World Bank and IMF are right in setting up such policies because that would lessen the budget deficit of any developing country. However, many will be suffering from those consequences particularly the poor and the needy.

Though setting such policies is favorable to the state, the class C and D of the society will become more inadequate; thus, widening the gap between the poor and the rich. World Bank and IMF are like businesspeople who would like to earn profits from developing countries.

Well, being businessmen is not bad at all. They also have good intentions but the problem is, there are many corrupt government officials who use the money to protect their vested interests rather than to invest in worthwhile projects.

Thus, quality education in the country is only for the rich who can afford to pay tuition fees in private schools. Public schools have lacked textbooks and qualified teachers who could inspire students to do better in their academics. School facilities and buildings are not well-maintained. There were strikes by teachers to increase the salary; and from the students, not to raise their tuition fees.

Nonetheless, there are non-government organizations that help the poor climb from their status or the so-called social mobility. They were taught to read and write. Moreover, it is happy to note that a Filipino is awarded for sharing his knowledge with street children thru mobile classroom.

The problems of education are perennial by nature. Maybe, initiatives should not just eradicate problems in class size, tuition fee increase, poor and ineffective teachers. There are simple ways and selfless individuals who can bring change in the society.

My wish is to have a government that can give free, quality education to every individual.


Arnove, R., Torres, A. Franz, S., Morse, K. (1996). A political sociology of education and development in Latin America: the conditioned state, neoliberalism, and educational policy. Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-18601143/a-political-sociology-of-education-and-development

Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-Matter or Content of the Curriculum

This article clarifies the two viewpoints of the curriculum and discusses the 7 criteria for the selection of subject matter or content of the curriculum (Bilbao et al., 2008).

The term curriculum is viewed in two different ways: the micro and the macro. The micro curriculum refers to subjects while the macro curriculum refers to curricular programs. For example, the subject biology is a micro curriculum while BS in Civil Engineering is a macro curriculum.

What do the micro and the macro curriculum contain? The following criteria discusses the content of these two levels of the curriculum.

 Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum

The selection of subject matter for micro curriculum employs the seven criteria below. For the macro curriculum, the subjects needed for the curricular program or course.

1. Self-sufficiency

To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency in the most economical manner is the main guiding principle of subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008). Although the economy of learning implies less teaching effort and less use of educational resources, students gain more results. They can cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.

This criterion means that students should be given a chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This system allows them to learn independently.

With this principle in mind, I suggest that for a high school curriculum or preparatory year, there should be a one-day independent learning activity each week. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.

2. Significance

The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of learning activities, skills, processes, and attitude. It also develops the three domains of learning namely the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills and considers the cultural aspects of the learners. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.

In short, select content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.

3. Validity

Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete.

For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT).

Thus, there is a need to check regularly the subject matter or contents of the curriculum, and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another 5 years to change it.

Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, the school or the country becomes obsolete.

4. Interest

This criterion is true to the learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is meaningful to them. It becomes meaningful if they are interested in it. However, if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and only teach what is in the book. This approach explains why many fail in the subject.

5. Utility

Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not important to them. They view it useless. As a result, they do not study.

Here are the questions that students often ask: Will I need the subject in my job? Will it give meaning to my life? Will it develop my potentials? Will it solve my problem? Will it be part of the test? Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?

Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.

6. Learnability

The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories in the psychology of learning to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize the learning capacity of the students.

7. Feasibility

Feasibility means full implementation of the subject matter. It should consider the real situation of the school, the government, and the society, in general. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish.

For example, you have only one week left to finish the unit but then, the activities may take a month for the students to complete. Thus, this requirement is not feasible.

Do not offer a computer subject if there is no even electricity in the area, or there are no computers at all.

Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.

Also, there is a need to consider the nature of the learners. The organization and design of the subject matter or content must be appropriate to the nature of students.

So, it would be better if students in a subject-centered curriculum (with pacing schedule that must be religiously implemented every week) shall be grouped homogeneously; otherwise, many will flunk in that subject.

In conclusion, teachers in elementary and high school are not directly involved in the selection of subject-matter because there are already lesson plans made by the Department of Education. All they have to do is to follow it. However, they can also customize the lessons if their department heads or principals allows them.

As regards macro curriculum, the Commission on Higher Education sets guidelines and policies on what subjects to offer as minimum requirements for the course. Then, the Curriculum Development Committee will takes charge of the selection, organization and implementation of the curriculum with the approval of the Academic Council.

The Curriculum Development Committee headed by the Director of Curriculum Development sees to it that the selection of the subject-matter and the subjects for a curricular program be examined and scrutinized using the 7 criteria mentioned above.

But, this is not the end of the process yet! The selection of the subject matter or content of the micro and macro curriculum is only one of the considerations in designing the curriculum.


Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., Javier, R. B., (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City, QC: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 February 7 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (February 7, 2015). Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-Matter or Content of the Curriculum. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/02/07/7-criteria-for-the-selection-of-subject-matter-or-content-of-the-curriculum/

Peer Coaching: A Sample of Professional Development Plan

This article describes how the findings of a dissertation can be applied in coming up with a plan to develop teachers professionally. Specifically, it deals with professional development for teachers using peer coaching as a tool.

Read on and find out how you can plan for your own professional development by reading the article below.

How can you develop yourself professionally? This can be done by undertaking steps which you can do by yourself.

However, aside from self-directed activity as described in my previous article titled “Reflective Journal: A Sample of Professional Development Plan,” you may also use a school-based activity to come up with your professional development plan. Among those approaches you could use is “peer coaching” since this is a common school activity applied by teachers.

Steps in Peer Coaching to Develop Pronunciation Skills

Since peer coaching falls under the school-based category, how can you make use of this approach? As an example, here are steps in order to improve your pronunciation skills if you find that you need to develop your skill along this line:

1. Look for a partner or a friend who is good at pronunciation and is willing to serve as your coach. If you find one, set a specific time to engage in this activity on a regular basis.

2. During the scheduled time, you may discuss a particular topic or problem in pronunciation and ask for the coach’s suggestions on how to improve on it.

3. You must do the suggestions for a prescribed period of time. Perhaps, the session could last for two weeks, or maybe a month. After practicing for some time, you may request your coach to evaluate your pronunciation skills after using his/her suggested activities.

Example Dialogue of Peer Coaching

Below is an example of a dialogue between an expert (the peer coach) and a group of teachers.

Teachers: Sir, we know that you are good in pronouncing words. Can you help us improve our pronunciation skills?

Peer Coach: Thank you. Yeah, I’m willing to help you, but I am too busy. Anyway, we can schedule it during my free time. Is it okay with you? My free time is every Friday afternoon, from 2-4pm.

Teachers: Yes, Sir. We can meet you up at that time.

During the Meeting with the Peer Coach

Teachers: Sir, we have noticed that we cannot pronounce well the words with /f/. We pronounce father as “pather.” How can we pronounce the word correctly?

Peer Coach: (He can give as many suggestions as he can).

Teachers: (They listen to the peer coach and apply the suggested activities).

During the Evaluation

Peer Coach: Now, let’s try to see if you have improved your pronunciation.

Teachers: (They do the evaluation techniques given by the peer coach).

Basically, peer coaching as a professional development activity is designed to improve student performance. It is in this activity that teachers form small groups in order to share, reflect on, and refine their teaching practices to address their students’ needs.

However, in the Customized Professional Development Model, any professional activity can be used and customized to address the specific needs of the teachers. Therefore, any activity that is originally designed for students can be used by teachers to improve their own professional skills.


Louisiana Department of Education Initiatives: Best Practices (2006). Examples of Job Embedded Professional Development. Retrieved 3 July, 2010 http://www.wbrschools.net/curriculum/sip/LaDOE%20Best%20Practices.ppt

2015 January 25 M. G. Alvior

How to Apply Suggestopedia as a Method of Teaching

This article briefly discusses Suggestopedia, a teaching method developed by a Bulgarian psychologist Georgi Lozanov. Particularly, this article explains the method’s goal & characteristics, and provides sample activities for teaching. This method is commonly used in English language teaching, but I believe that this can also be used in other foreign languages like Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and others.

The Goal of Suggestopedia as a Method of Teaching

To learn a foreign language at an accelerated pace for everyday communication by tapping mental powers and overcoming psychological barriers.

9 Characteristics of Suggestopedia as a Method of Teaching

According to Villamin et al. (1994), the nine characteristics of Suggestopedia are the following:

1. It uses the power of suggestion to help students eliminate the feeling that they cannot succeed.
2. There should be a relaxed, comfortable environment with dim lights and soft music to facilitate learning.
3. Students’ imagination is used. They can assume new names, and new identities and respond to the teacher accordingly using the target language.
4. Present and explain grammar and vocabulary words, but not discuss at length or thoroughly.
5. Native language translation is used in order to get the clear meanings of words in the target language.
6. Communication takes place in the conscious and subconscious of the learners. The former is about the linguistic message. It is where the students pay attention to a dialogue that is being read, while the latter is where the music is played as a background. Music suggests that learning is easy.
7. Teaching is done by integrating music, song, and drama.
8. The emphasis of teaching is more on content. Errors made by students are tolerated at the beginning of the lesson but in the later part, the correct forms are used by the teachers.
9. No formal tests are given, but the evaluation is done during the normal in-class performance.

Sample of Classroom Activities using Suggestopedia

If you are a teacher or mentor, you may use the following activities using the Suggestopedia method.

1. Choose a background music that will give an impression or feeling that you are in a forest. For example, the music may be punctuated by the chirping of the birds or the sounds of the leaves as they dance in the wind, or any sound indicating that the location is in the forest.

In the classroom, turn off the lights and play the background music. Then, group the students into three, and ask them to close their eyes, and let them imagine, for one minute, that they are animals, birds, trees, or flowers.

After that, ask them to create their own dialogues on how people should take care of the environment. But in their dialogues they have to remember their roles. If one assumes to be a bird, his/her point of view and dialogues should be like a bird, and not as a human being.

2. Choose a story. Practice reading the story with emotions or feeling. Then, choose appropriate background music for the story. It would be best if you prepare it in advance.

In the classroom, ask the students to relax and make themselves comfortable. Allow them to sit on the floor or lie down, and to be with their classmates or listen by themselves while seated at their desk. Then, turn off the lights, play the music and start reading the story. You may ask questions in between to check that they are listening intently to you and to keep their motivation high. In answering your questions, don’t correct the students’ grammatical errors immediately. Focus first on the content. Before you end the lesson, at the later part, you may give the correct form by repetition.

Don’t you think these are good ideas to start the ball rolling in class? If you believe so, then try Suggestopedia as a method of teaching!


Rhalmi, M. (2009). The origin of Suggestopedia. Retrieved 16 January 2015 from http://www.myenglishpages.com/blog/suggestopedia/#.VLjUy5X9ljo

Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., & Sunga, N.R. (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City, QC: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

2015 January 21 M. G. Alvior

Research Studies Conducted on Teachers’ In-service Training

This article pinpoints studies conducted on in-service training events for teachers. It is written and organized as a review of related literature in the dissertation of Dr. Mary Alvior. This article provides an example of a review of related literature focused on specific variables of studies made on teachers’ training.

Sharma (2010) conducted a study about the training needs of high school teachers in government and private schools of Bangkok. The study found that teachers preferred training in diagnosing students’ learning needs, identifying students’ personal needs and difficulties, organizing instruction for enrichment, developing multi-grade teaching skills, developing learning activities on subjects, adopting problem-solving skills, developing emotional intelligence skills, publishing research papers, conducting action research, and developing total quality management skills. Hence, training for the aforesaid competencies are highly required.

 Likewise, the studies of Mizuno (2004) and Yang (2005) affirmed that teachers viewed in-service education to be more effective when the content of the training is based on their self-reported needs. They also found the important factors that can improve teachers’ willingness to participate in in-service training programs. These factors are: (1) competent resource persons, (2) involvement of trainees in the training process, (3) consultation with teachers to assess their needs, and (4) support to teachers to implement new ideas/innovations acquired in in-service training programs.

They further agreed that it is not the duration of the program but the degree of satisfaction with the in-service training events that contributes to the impact of the training at the classroom level. They likewise believed that student performance is dependent upon the teachers’ quality of teaching. Thus, it is essential to enrich teaching skills and quality of teaching, as well as to adjust their training according to their work situation.

Likewise, Yang (2005) emphasized the need for INSET providers to spend some time listening to teachers’ voice, investigating what teachers really need, and designing appropriate programs with suitable speakers before any INSET course is implemented. INSET should not be carried out in a “top-down” direction; instead, it should be built up from down to top, in which teachers may be empowered to decide which training activities are suited to them.

Indeed, teachers become satisfied with in-service training programs if their professional needs are addressed during the training. This is true in the case of teachers in the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) who were highly satisfied with their training programs (Bakar et al., 2008).

In conclusion, teachers need to continually engage in any in-service training activity in order to develop their quality of teaching. As Mizuno (2004) quotes Desforges (1995), “The best of teachers spend a lifetime learning to improve on their professional practice”.


1. Sharma, S. (2010). Perceptions of teachers & school leaders on competencies of teachers & training needs. Academic Leaderhip The Online Journal, Current Issue – Volume 8 Issue 4. Retrieved 16 January, 2010 from http://www.academicleadership.org/article/Perceptions_of_Teachers_School_Leaders_on_Competencies_of_Teachers_Training_Needs

2. Mizuno, C. (2004). A comparative study of teacher education in japan, korea, and australia. Retrieved 1 February, 2011 from http://www.paaljapan.org/resources/proceedings/PAAL8/pdf/pdf024.pdf

3. Bakar, R., Konting, M., Jamian, R., & and N. Lyndon (2008). Teaching efficacy of Universiti Putra Malaysia trainee teachers in teaching Malay Language as a first language. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 16, 1-14.

4. Yang, W. H. (2005). An Investigation of English Teachers’ Perspectives on INSET Needs and Provision in Taiwan. Retrieved 8 July, 2010 from

© 2015 January 16 M. G. Alvior

Use of RAFTS Prompt in Rhetorical Context and Writing Traits in CBLI

This article highlights the result of a research on the the effectiveness of the RAFTS prompt. RAFTS stands for role, audience, format, topic and strong verb, in order to make writing assignments more enjoyable and fulfilling to the students.

With the implementation of Content-Based Language Instruction (CBLI) in Palawan State University, English teachers found content-based lessons difficult to prepare. Writing in particular requires collaboration among teachers to provide students meaningful writing tasks. However, it has been observed that students have writing difficulties. They have poor writing traits. Also, they can hardly address the rhetorical context or the situation that surrounds their act of writing.

It is in this line of thought that the researcher embarked on an action research. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context and in improving the writing traits of students.

Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions:

  1. Did the scores of students improve after using the RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context?,
  2. Was the use of intervention effective in improving the writing traits of students?,
  3. In what manner, did the intervention become effective? And less effective?, and
  4. Was there a significant relationship between the students’ scores in their writing traits and in their mid-term grades?

The researcher used purposive sampling in selecting the participants of the study because this is a classroom-based research. The sample consisted of 40 freshmen from the Department of Computer Science.

Data were gathered from the written works of students and scored using rubrics taken from the official website of the Nevada Writing Project. Further, the researcher used t-test and Pearson r for the analysis of data.

She also used written feedbacks and interviews to reflect better on the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in content-based language instruction.

It was found out that RAFTS prompt was very effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The result of t-test for related samples using SPSS v10 indicated a significant p-value of 0.000. However, RAFTS prompt was not effective in improving the writing traits of students (p-value = 0.083).

In view of the findings, RAFTS prompt can only be effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The students can assume roles that they need to portray in writing. They can also write to a given audience, follow the format, develop a topic, and use strong verbs.

However, RAFTS prompt alone cannot improve their writing traits. If they are poor in grammar, spelling, transitions, accuracy, fluency, word choice and others, these mistakes can be repeated in their written works. This scenario implies that RAFTS prompt is a writing technique in the pre-writing stage.

In addition, there must be more writing strategies to employ in order to develop the writing traits. Teachers should focus not only on the context but most importantly to the language, tasks and evaluation criteria in order to improve the writing traits of students.

Thus, it is recommended that another action research be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of connecting the writing traits to RAFTS prompt in the writing stage.


Kroll, B. (2006). Teaching english as a second language of foreign language. (3rd ed.) (M.C. Murcia, ed.). Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.

McCallister, C. (2004). Writing education practices within the reconceptualized curriculum.

Northern Nevada Writing Project at http://writingfix.com

Nunan, D. (2009). Second language teaching and learning. Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.

Slagle, P. (1997). Getting real: authenticity in writing prompts. Quarterly. vol.19, no.3. Retrieved from www.scribd.com An encyclopedia for parents and teachers, ed. J.L. kincheloe and D. Weil, CT: Greenwood Press.

© 2015 January 14 M. G. Alvior

Reflective Journal: A Sample of Professional Development Plan

This article illustrates how you can plan for your professional development as a teacher. A reflective journal being featured is a result of a research finding. Read the steps and a sample on how you can use this professional activity to advance yourself professionally.

Steps in Using the Reflective Journal

If you are a teacher, and would want to use a reflective journal as your professional activity for self-direction, here are steps you can follow:

  1. Have a notebook and a ball pen for the journal;
  2. Think of a particular problem that you have, for example, a pronunciation problem;
  3. Identify the reasons why that problem exists;
  4. Look for strategies or activities that can improve your pronunciation skill such as listening to native speaker or to someone who is good at pronouncing words, using a speech laboratory or imitating and producing the sounds correctly, using audio and video tape analysis, among others;
  5. Use or apply the pronunciation activity/ies chosen; and
  6. Evaluate or assess your progress or improvement in pronunciation.

Sample Plan of Professional Development using Reflective Journal

Now, take a look at this sample.

Date: January 19, 2011

Topic: Improving My Pronunciation Skill

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What are the words I cannot pronounce well?
  2. How did I know that I mispronounced them?
  3. How would I correct my pronunciation?
  4. What do I need in order to improve my pronunciation? Should I listen to a friend who is good at pronunciation or would I go to a speech laboratory in order to hear how I produced the sounds and check them there?
  5. Are the strategies effective in improving my pronunciation? What are the indicators that my pronunciation skill has improved? What assessment tools should I utilize?


In this part, you may now reflect as to how you progress in your activities. You may also indicate the effectiveness of reflective journal as a self-directed professional development activity.

With the example given, the teacher may start writing a journal using the suggested format below:



Questions to ponder on:


Since you already have an idea on how to write a reflective journal, you may start planning for it. For example, you may talk to your principal or department head that you would like to engage in this activity by writing a weekly journal for a period of 3 months. Or, you can have it daily for a longer period of time, say 6 months or one year. But your plan should be realistic. Just do only what you can do without giving yourself much pressure.

This activity can give you more benefits. Aside from helping yourself, you can also make this as your action research. So, try this professional development activity soonest and see the results!

© 2015 January 12 M. G. Alvior

How to Use the Grammar Translation Method

This article briefly explains the goals and characteristics of Grammar Translation Method (Villamin et al., 1994). It also includes some ideas in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

Goals of Grammar Translation Method

  1. To read literature in a target language.
  2. To memorize grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language.

Characteristics of Grammar Translation Method

  1. The major focus is on reading and writing with little or no systematic attention to listening and speaking.
  2. Vocabulary words are chosen from the reading text used. Teachers teach vocabulary words through memorization, bilingual word list, and dictionary.
  3. The basic unit of teaching and language practice is the sentence. Most of the lesson is in sentence translation from and into the target language.
  4. Deductive method is used in grammar. Rules are presented and studied. Then, students will practice through translation exercises.
  5. New grammatical or vocabulary items in the target language are explained in students’ native language in order to have a comparison between the target language and the students’ native language.
  6. Students are expected to attain high standards in translation. They must be accurate in translating the sentences into their target language and vice-versa.

Some Ideas in Teaching

With the goals and characteristics of this method, the following activities can be done in the classroom:

  1. Ask the students to take 5 vocabulary words from their favorite song and then translate it in English.
  2. In teaching a particular lesson in grammar, ask the students to memorize the rules, and they should give their own sentences as samples.
  3. Ask the students to take down the conversations of their friends in their native language, and then translate it in English.
  4. Ask students to write 10 verbs from the article assigned to them, and then they should give the synonyms and antonyms.
  5. Ask students to memorize at least 5 words per day in English and give their native language equivalent.

Some school administrators or teachers may disagree with the idea of using the native language in explaining vocabulary words or grammar rules because they want the students to be exposed only with the target language in order to effectively acquire and master it.

However, there is no hard and fast rule of what is the best method or strategy. It would be best if the teacher will use different ways and find out what is suited to his/her students by conducting an action research.

So, for those who would like to work on this as an action research, what are you waiting for?


Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., & N.R. Sunga (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

© 2015 January 10 M. G. Alvior