Monday, August 6, 2007

Blogs, English, the Philippines, and Me

The trickiest thing for a beginner blogger such as myself is finding something to blog about. I've never really believed in blogging about my personal life, after all, reading the soap opera that is one's life can be boring to people other than family and friends. I knew at once that I wanted a truly informative and helpful blog, which is why I settled on a blog that teaches English. As an English teacher, I have encountered so many instances of good and bad English and I would like to feature both. I think samples of good English should be emulated and enjoyed, but poor uses of English should be addressed and corrected.

A word about English and the Philippines first, though. English is truly a global language, which means it is owned by many people and not just by the so-called "native" speakers of English. As a global language, its usage varies depending on where the speaker is. So, apart from British English, American English, and Australian English, we also have Singaporean English, Indian English, Jamaican English, and of course, Philippine English. It is not my intention to look down on these varieties of English. I do love the idea of world englishes and the changes that the language undergoes as it hits different parts of the world. These only prove that it is indeed a living language. However, there are still occasions when proper English is important. What I want to do is to help those who need to speak the language properly improve their English skills.

My plan for this blog is simple: every day, I will post an entry on a certain usage of English, whether on grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, etc. In some occasions, I will focus on a common mistake that I encounter and what can be done to correct this mistake. Since I'm Filipino, most of the material I will be using will be from the Philippines and how Filipinos (including myself) speak English. However, I do hope that this blog can benefit everyone.

Part of the reason behind this blog is a personal one. Although I am very comfortable with using English, I do want to learn more about it. It does not follow that someone who uses English constantly actually uses it well. It helps to know and understand the rules of the language to truly use it correctly. I'd like to be sure that my skills don't remain static and that through the work I will be putting into this blog, my understanding and use of English will improve as well.

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