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Faculty Experiences - Nenita Pambid Domingo

NENITA PAMBID DOMINGO

Asian Languages and Cultures

Interview Topics:
What matters most to you in your teaching?

How are you using technology as a tool to achieve your teaching goals?

How have your students responded to your use of technology?

What new goals do you have for using technology in teaching?

How could the university better facilitate the use of technology in instruction?


Pedagogy:
Different learning styles
Authentic materials
Immediate feedback
Getting students comfortable with technology
Technology:
WIMBA
Class web site (CCLE Moodle)
Video furnace

Pinpointing Student Needs and Instilling Pride

The most important thing for me in my teaching is the total education of the person; more specifically, the students and their learning needs.  Since I am teaching language courses, it is important that I am able to impart the course content and skills for acquiring the Filipino language in all modalities--listening, reading, speaking, and writing--as well as teach students the culture in language and the language in culture.  I want to be able to cultivate in the students the love for learning, critical thinking, and curiosity about the world in which they live, to become better persons and better citizens, and future leaders.

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100% of my students are of Filipino descent, presently called heritage learners.  They live in the culture handed down by their parents, but they cannot speak the language, read, or write.  In the past, the home country being a former colony of the United States, Filipino culture was looked down upon.  It was a source of shame and negative stereotypes rather than a source of pride and comfort.  I would like to impart to my students pride and acknowledgement of the Filipinos’ contribution to American society, an appreciation of the beauty of the culture and the service that Filipinos selflessly and without reserve perform.

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Because of the cyber revolution, teaching is no longer confined within the four walls of the classroom.  Whereas before, students could only utilize print materials and realia that the teacher brought to class, now, through the internet and videos as well as authentic speech on disks and tapes, learners can have vicarious experience of the actual world that the words and letters symbolize.  Through technology, I have more contact time with my students through email and WIMBA voice tools.  Specifically, I use the advance uploading tool for written assignments via Moodle.  Using the track changes, I am able to “personalize instruction” to individual students who have varying degrees of proficiency and who have equally different learning styles and backgrounds.  The class is not homogeneous.  They have different “waterloos” and different strengths.  Furthermore, Filipino/Tagalog is a very complex language that has seven kinds of subjects or focus, different word order than English, and a very complicated system of affixation, cases, verbal aspect, focus, and mode, that being able to pinpoint exactly where the student needs help and addressing that need becomes a great teaching tool.  I also require my students to listen to language tapes or watch movies in the target language for a total of 10 hours for the whole quarter.  The videos are available through video furnace care of OID.  They are required to write 10 sentences using new vocabulary words that they learned for every hour that they do their lab.  This method allows the students to have more in-class conversation in their real world rather than devoting precious class time to oral and written drills.

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Students generally respond positively to the use of technology.  They like the fact that they are able to know what their weaknesses are and get immediate feedback from the instructor and how to fix the problematic area.  There are some who are not comfortable using technology, but very few really, and once I have walked them through the process of going to the class website and how to upload files and check their own progress through the electronic gradebook, they get acclimatized to this minimal use of technology.  In retrospect, since using technology in the submission of homework, there are less students coming to office hours compared to the time when I did not know such services are available or that things can be done differently.

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I would like to be able to put together authentic materials from the target culture for listening and speaking, using videos, maybe creating an electronic workbook?  Assessment online?  And to be able to use Google Earth and a wiki.

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To facilitate the use of technology, I wish the majority of classrooms would have audio-visual facilities and an internet connection.  Right now, one has to specifically request a “smart” classroom, or reserve a CLICC classroom, or push a cart from Campbell to the classroom.  Another thing that would be helpful are state-of-the-art computers.  Right now, the computer available for use at my disposal is very slow, and sometimes preparing teaching materials using technology becomes a bane.

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Written interview, April 2008
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