Luzminda M. Divino

Ms. Luz is a Bachelor in Education graduate with 46 masteral units in education (Completed Academic Requirements) and 20 years of teaching experience.

She prefers the democratic, participative approach in leadership in her department, and she confesses it has been effective, as evidenced by the very minimal friction among the members.

She shares her vision of raising the proficiency level of students in Filipino. Asked to give assessment of the current performance of students in the subject, she answers, “As a whole, most of our students are capable of communicating correctly, fluently and effectively, both in oral and written language. They also manifest evidence of critical thinking skills in processing information presented.”

This claim was confirmed by the outcome of the 2011 National Assessment
Test (NAT) administered by the Department of Education to TPS students in grades 6 and 8, where they obtained their highest scores in the subject Filipino.

It is easy to presume that because we are all Filipinos in the school, learning the language, which is our native tongue comes so effortless. But surprisingly, it is not. As Ms. Luz shares, “We find it difficult to make them take Filipino seriously, particularly among those who were born and have grown here in the UAE. They are not very much aware of our culture, and so they have a low appreciation for it. They do not even love reading Filipino materials. It is really a challenge to make them learn and love Filipino.

Leaders always find ways to overcome difficulties and face the challenges. In the Filipino department, keen observation and creativity are keys to the solution. They found out that most classes prefer the informal approach to literature and language, to the formal, scholarly approach. So, they get them hooked to the lesson by using the conversational style in presenting grammatical structures and literary pieces. They include stories in daily life, to which the students can relate and situations for daily interaction.

They also find translation to English helpful, using the leaner’s second or familiar language as reference. Coordination with the English Department in organizing the Filipino Scope and Sequence proves effective in providing continuity and transfer of learning. To familiarize them with the literary genre in Filipino, they regularly include Reading Comprehension in the quarterly exams, and present reading text in creative ways Ms Luz also aims to improve creative writing among students. She wants them to write their own stories essays and poems, and go beyond the mastery of mechanics such as spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

She hopes to secure and create more assessment tools , such as Reading Inventory and more rubrics next school year.

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