Featuring two Master of Education in English as a Second Language (MEd ESL) alumni, the University of the Philippines Visayas Language Program (UPV LP), in partnership with the Division of Professional Education, hosted its first installment of virtual panel discussion for English language education (ELE) practitioners, May 29, 2021.
Dr. Johh Mark A. Masagnay, chairman of the Professional Education Department of West Visayas State University (WVSU) Janiuay, and Dr. Archie Franco, senior high school head of Jalandoni Memorial National High School (JMNHS) shared their learning experiences and professional undertakings as ESL practitioners highlighting their roles as teacher-facilitators, language education researchers and instructional leaders.
For both panelists, taking the MEd ESL graduate degree is a challenging yet enjoyable pursuit. They underlined that the graduate degree program prepared them for the instructional and leadership roles of being ESL practitioners.
“Because of this degree, I was given the opportunity to lead. I am not only an ESL teacher but rather an ESL leader, for that matter. This is how beautiful this degree is. It can lead you to soar high and do more,” said Dr. Franco, who is the former head of Iloilo Sun Yat Sen High School’s English Department.
Moreover, Dr. Masagnay explained that the ESL program also prepared them for further research ventures. Being exposed to a variety of academic texts improved their teaching competence.
“I admire how MEd ESL programs honed us to become readers and critical thinkers, which helped us in our research endeavors. Our professors exposed us to scholarly reading materials which are relevant in our field of study and helpful in improving our classroom instruction,” remarked Dr. Masagnay highlighting the importance of reading in research writing.
When asked about what it means to be an ESL teacher, Dr. Franco focused on the ability of the educator to know what and how to teach, while Dr. Masagnay stated that ESL teachers must pursue higher educational learning, participate in community work, and engage in research.
Prof. Ma. Joji B. Tan, former UPV MEd ESL professor, and discussion reactor, said that it takes grit and courage to finish a graduate program. She also encouraged the participants to look into enrolling in higher education programs.
“Maybe out there, anyone else who is listening to us can also come forth and enroll and see how it is to be able to discover something within himself or herself. That quality that enables the person to rise above mediocrity,” added Prof. Tan, explaining the leverage one can get by furthering education.
Moderated by UPHSI faculty Gerthrode Tan-Mabilog, the panel discussion was attended by over 70 zoom participants from all over the archipelago. The said event pioneers the series of webinars organized by the Language Program their faculty-in-charge, Asst. Prof. Jessie Labiste, Jr. at the helm.