Thursday, June 12, 2008

the saga of the little book that could...

has led to another request from the English Department of our high school for teacher materials on teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). i had to think long and hard how i would honor such request given the long standing debate in my circles on the merits and demerits of exporting US textbooks to Philippine schools. eventually this is how i capitulated :

i 've changed my mind about this practice of sending books to the homeland. i used to think that to do so would be to extend the west's cultural and linguistic imperial project. now i think that it is imperative to master this culture and language in order to better subvert it. subvert it so that the imperial flow of ideas might boomerang and create a backlash on itself. it is already happening ever so subtly (journal entry).

a quick response from colleagues filled a balikbayan box. after sending the box, i requested the chair of the English Dept for a meeting sometime in July while I'm in the Philippines so we can talk about how to use these books. i mentioned that i have taught courses on theory and methods of bilingual education, and on the politics of the English language. i hope she takes me up on it.

in the meantime, our book publisher, bought the rest of our inventory as his company in the US and in the Philippines sees a commercial potential in the book. (it really has gems in it - go buy it!)

plus: Filipinas Magazine will feature our little book in its July issue!

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