publisher colophon


General Background. The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country of some 7,200 islands compactly distributed off the Asian Mainland. It has a total land area of 114,830 square miles and a population of about 30,000,000. The country has many different languages. On the basis of the number of speakers eight of the languages are classified as major: Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Pampango, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waraywaray.

Ilokano is the third highest in rank in the number of native speakers, the first and second being Cebuano and Tagalog. Ilokano is the dominant language in all the Northern Luzon provinces with the exception of Batanes Province. It is also the dominant language in Tarlac, Zambales, the non-central sections of Pangasinan, and some towns in Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Cotabato.

Ilokano, like all its sister Philippine languages, is a Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language.

Aim of the Text. There are four basic communica­tion skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The listening and speaking skills deal with the spoken form of language; the reading and writing skills with the written form. The spoken form of a modern language should be learned before its written form, the spoken form being the basis of the study of the written form. The primary aim of this beginner’s text is to enable the student to acquire the ability to hear and under­stand Ilokano when it is spoken, and to speak and be understood when using it.

How to Use this Book. This text is composed of forty-one lessons, seven appendices, and a glossary. The lessons comprise the instructional core; the appendices supplement the lessons; and the glossary serves as a handy reference for the vocabulary items introduced in the lessons.

Each lesson generally consists of the following parts.

I. Content: the structural content of the xiventire lesson.

II. Review Section: designed to give a short review of a previous lesson or lessons and to expand on it or them (not found in every lesson).

III. Basic Cycle or Dialogue. New material is introduced in early lessons by means of a basic cycle or a dialogue. The dialogue is used when the material is familiar enough not to demand an explanation. The concept of the basic cycle, however, is less familiar and needs some explanation.

Briefly, a basic cycle is a very short communica­tion situation consisting of a single exchange between two speakers. This exchange consists of a question or an opener and a response. In this text a basic cycle is indicated by “#” and a number, e.g., #1, and is composed of two sections: an M-phase and a C-phase. The M-phase (a mnemonic device for mimicry, memoriza­tion, and manipulation) consists of a question or an opener (M1) and an answer or answers (M2). The C-phase (communication situation) is a combination of an M1 and an M2. The M-phase precedes the C-phase.

e.g.   (1)   M1 Naimbag a bigat mo. Good morning.
    M2 Naimbag a bigat mo met. Good morning, (too).
    C     Naimbag a bigat mo.
Naimbag a bigat mo met.
  (2)  M1 Pilipino ka? Are you a Filipino?
    M2 Saan. Saan ak a Pilipino. Amerikano ak. No, I’m not a Filipino. I’m an American.
      Saan. Amerikano ak. No, I’m an American.
    C1 Pilipino ka?  
      Saan. Saan ak a Pilipino. Amerikano ak.  
    C2 Pilipino ka?  
      Saan. Amerikano ak.  

xvExample 2 shows that there can be as many C’s as there are possible combinations of M1 and M2.

The basic cycles are useful, especially in the beginning stages, because they are short and easy to handle.

In this text basic cycles are made use of extensive­ly during the first few lessons. As the students gain control of the language dialogues are gradually intro­duced. Towards the latter lessons dialogues are used extensively with a minimum of basic cycles.

IV. Pattern Drills: drills designed to give optimum oral practice on the structures under study and to bring about mastery of them.

V. Cumulative Activity or Supplemental Dialogue: given at the end of each lesson to bring into focus the elements of the lesson. This section is designed to elicit application of the new knowledge gained or re-present the new items of the lesson in combination with other previously-learned items.

VI. Vocabulary: a listing of the new vocabulary items introduced in the lesson.

VII. Notes: short comments addressed to the student. The notes are usually morphophonemic and cultural. Extended grammatical explanations have not been included. Grammatical explanations are given in some detail in the Reference Grammar to accompany this text.

How to Teach the Lessons. Present first the basic cycle or the dialogue. The procedure for presenting the basic cycle is as follows.

(1) Give one or two renditions of the basic cycle in meaningful situations. With the use of visual aids, facial expressions, and gestures, convey the meaning of the cycle without using any English translation or explanations if possible.

(2) Model the first M two or three times. Have the students mimic it. Be sure that the students have correct pronunciation, rhythm, xvistress, and intonation. Do the same for the other M’s.

(3) Manipulate the grammatical structure exempli­fied in the M-phase by giving some basic substitution drills. It is advisable to drill the students on the response first so that by the time they practice on the question they already have a good command of the answer.

(4) When the students have achieved some pro­ficiency with the M’s, have them use these sentences in real communication situations as given by the C or C’s. For this activity the chain drill is among the most effective tech­niques. To conduct a chain drill, get some­body to ask the question. (The teacher can start.) Student One (S1) gives the answer. S1 then turns to S2 and asks the question. S2 answers and turns to S3 to ask the ques­tion. This goes on around the room until everybody has answered and asked the question.

After doing all the above steps, give more pattern drills, supplementary dialogues, and cumulative activ­ities to reinforce memory of the structure.

If the instrument used for introducing the struc­tural content is not a basic cycle but a dialogue, the procedure used is the following.

(1) Present the entire dialogue to the class. As much as possible, recite the dialogue from memory. Use visual aids (pictures, puppets, cut-outs, etc.) actions, anything to help convey the meaning.

(2) Ask comprehension questions.

(3) Go through the entire dialogue with the class in a listen-and-repeat fashion. Give the first line; the students repeat. Give the second line; the students repeat, etc.

(4) Now that the students have gained a feel for the entire dialogue, go back to the first line. Model it for the class. The students repeat. Be sure that there is correct xviipronunciation, including rhythm, stress, and intonation as well as individual sounds. Take the second line. Go through it the way you did the first line. Now that you have two lines practiced, have an exchange. Recite the first line and the students give the second line. Exchange roles. The students give the first line, you give the second line. For additional practice, ask one half of the class to give one line and the other half to give the other line, and vice versa.

When these two lines have been mastered, move on to lines three and four. Do the same thing as for lines one and two. Then, put lines one, two, three, and four together. Go through the rest of the dialogue in this manner.

When the entire dialogue has been mastered, have individual students present it to the class with the proper actions, props, etc.

After all the above activities, clinch the struc­tures introduced by the dialogue by doing the pattern drills, the cumulative activities and/or the supplemental dialogues.

There are two types of dialogues used in the lessons: dialogues that introduce the structures being taught and supplemental dialogues. Dialogues of the first type must be memorized but supplemental dialogues need not be memorized. They may be used for additional practice, comprehension exercise, and as a basis for impromptu dialogues.

Types of Pattern Drills. The different types of pattern drills used in the lessons are the following.

(1) Repetition Drill: a drill in which the teacher models an utterance and the students mimic the teacher’s model.

e.g. Teacher: Sino ti ‘Site Director’?
  Students: Sino ti ‘Site Director’?

(2) Substitution Drill: the replacement of an item or items in the base sentence by other xviiiitems cued by the teacher.

e.g. Teacher Students
  Agtaray ti ubing. Agtaray ti ubing.
  agtugaw Agtugaw ti ubing.
  agsangit Agsangit ti ubing.

There are two types of substitution drills used in the lessons: fixed slot substitution drills and moving slot substitution drills.

A fixed slot substitution drill is one in which the substitution items go into the same part or slot of the model sentence as in the example above.

A moving slot substitution drill is one in which the substitution items go into different parts or slots of the model sentence.

e.g. Teacher Students
  Agtaray ti ubing. Agtaray ti ubing.
  agtakder Agtakder ti ubing.
  lakay Agtakder ti lakay.
  daydiay Agtakder daydiay lakay.

(3) Transformation Drill: a drill involving a change in the form of a phrase or a sentence. The change may be from a statement to a question, from the affirmative to the nega­tive, etc.

e.g. (a) statement to question.
    Statement: Napintas ti sabong.
    Question: Napintas ti sabong? (using terminal in­tonation)
  (b) affirmative to negative.
    Affirmative: Adda ti tugaw.
    Negative: Awan ti tugaw.

(4) Expansion Drill: a drill consisting of lengthening a sentence by adding more parts or modifiers to different parts of the sen­tence.xix

e.g. Expansion Items Expansion Sentence
    Nagluto ni Maria.
  iti adobo Nagluto ni Maria iti adobo.
  idi kalman Nagluto ni Maria iti adobo idi kalman.

(5) Question and Answer Drill: a conversation-like drill which consists of somebody asking a question and another person giving an an­swer.

e.g. Student 1: Kayat mo iti napintas a balay?
  Student 2: Wen, kayat ko iti napintas a balay.

(6) Chain Drill: a drill explained in an earlier section whereby participants ask and answer a series of questions around the room.

To the Teacher. It is important to realize the fact that probably the single most important element in any teaching situation is the teacher. Textbooks, principles, methods, and teaching aids are entirely dependent on the moving power behind the whole teaching situation--the teacher.

The success of the course depends upon the inge­nuity, imagination, and pedagogical skill with which you handle these materials. The techniques and drills presented here are, for the most part, merely sug­gestive. Teaching is an art. We call on your creativ­ity and resourcefulness to suit these materials to the particular needs and abilities of your students. When­ever necessary and advisable, adjust the vocabulary items in the drills to suit the interests and needs of your students. Combine the patterns in new arrange­ments meaningful to the circumstances of your class and your classroom. Expand and modify these materials to include the many items called for by the particular demands of your students which no amount of planning and thinking can anticipate in the preparation of a textbook geared to a general group.

Most of your teaching time will be devoted to pattern drills. Here are a few pointers on successful xxpattern drilling.

(1) Establish the model with care. Repeat the model sentence twice or even more times, taking care that you use the same pronunciation, rhythm, stress, and intonation. Do your modeling at a normal rate of speed. Whenever it is necessary to emphasize a word or a phrase, slow down a little, but go back immediately to the normal speed. When you slow down on a phrase or a sentence, be sure to pre­serve the intonation pattern. Stretch it to suit your slower speed but do not distort it.

(2) Students must be thoroughly familiar with the form, rhythm, intonation, etc. of the model sen­tence before they are required to proceed with the drill.

(3) Start with concert drills to build up some confi­dence in the students. Then call on smaller groups and individuals to recite.

(4) When conducting individual drills, take care that the students cannot predict when their turn to recite will come. They might tune in for their part and tune out the rest of the drill. Strive always to keep the students alert and ready with the answer.

(5) Use gestures to indicate commands like “Listen. Repeat. Everybody recite. One by one. etc.” Gestures are time-savers, and they prevent the distracting interpolation of commands with smooth functioning drills.

(6) Be very patient with your students and be tactful in dealing with errors. Patience and tact go a long way in establishing a pleasant atmosphere for language learning.

(7) As much as possible, get the students to act and talk. Have them act out dialogues, use visual aids, etc., to make their language learning more realistic and meaningful.

(8) Whenever possible use teaching aids. Visual aids such as pictures and films greatly aid in intro­ducing the students to some cultural facets of xxithe native speakers of the language being learned. They also give life and interest to the lesson. Audio aids such as tapes, records, and the like, can be put to good use in the second language class. Games and contests, too, are important. They add spice to the classroom activities and help drive away boredom and fatigue. Use any reinforcing technique possible to keep the class moving and to accomplish the goal of learning language.

To the Student. The ultimate factor that deter­mines your success or failure in learning Ilokano is your own self. The degree to which you master your new language will depend upon your attitude towards the language class, the type of effort you exert, and the overall seriousness with which you approach the task of learning Ilokano.

The approach used here involves a lot of mimicry and repetition. We want to help you to rid yourself of your self-consciousness as early as possible. Listen carefully to the teacher’s modeling and imitate as accurately as possible.

Practice using the language at every possible opportunity. Strive constantly to use Ilokano in out-of-class situations. Seize every opportunity to speak, hear, and think in Ilokano. This is imperative because the class situation is, even at its best, an artificial situation. The countless sentences you drill on in class provide a linguistic ability which has to be used in the context of natural, live, meaningful situations in order for them to come alive. The formal structured knowledge of the classroom used in real situations forces you to put the system you are learning to work. You will be surprised at how much you know and how much you can say when you try. Regularity is a remarkable virtue in language learning. So be sure to find some time every day to practice your Ilokano.

It is useful to record your speech once in a while and compare it to that of your teacher. This practice will bring your Ilokano progressively closer to that of your teacher.

A Note on Orthography. The Ilokano alphabet used in this text consists of a, b, k, d, e, g, h, i, 1, m, xxiin, ng, o, p, r, s, t, u, w, and y. All these letters symbolize sounds similar to their English counterparts. The digraph ng is the velar nasal /ŋ/ and is pronounced as ng in ‘ring’. The o and the u often appear inter­changeably in some words; e.g., umuna and umona ‘first’. The e and i sometimes behave in a similar manner; e.g., dyis and dyes for ‘ten’. Occasionally, letters c and f are used in Spanish loans. Just as in Spanish, c is pronounced as k before a, o, and u; and it is pronounced as s before e and i.

Word stress may be indicated by the acute accent over the stressed vowel. Ordinarily, stress is left unnoted when Ilokano is written in books and newspapers. In this text we have often written stress to remind the student that it is a necessary part of the pronuncia­tion. It is left unmarked at times to prepare the stu­dent for reading Ilokano as normally written. It should also be noted that some words are spelled differently at different times: Mierkoles, Miyercoles, a Spanish loan meaning ‘Wednesday’. This should not be a problem for you. The pronunciation remains the same in either case.

The writing of personal pronouns is important. There are two ways of writing Ilokano personal pronouns of the ak and ko classes. One way is to attach them to the words they Follow; e.g., ginatangko ‘I bought (something)’. This is the traditional way of doing it. Some primers have started another way of writing them–separate from the words they follow; e.g., ginatang ko. We have adopted the second way of writing them for two reasons: (1) to avoid very long constructions like ginatangtayo ‘we bought (something)’, and (2) to indi­cate in a clearer way the pronouns present in a con­struction. This is particularly helpful when the pro­noun is homophonous to the last part of the word it follows; e.g., agkanta ta instead of agkantata ‘Let us (you and I) sing’.

A final word is in order to the users of this book. Language and culture are intimately intertwined. Language expresses much of the values, attitudes, and aspirations of a people. Language learning can be an intensely pleasurable and gratifying activity because of this. The learner begins to participate in the cul­ture of another people; he gains an insight into the workings of their mind. The authors intensely hope xxiiithat students and teachers alike will find this lan­guage teaching and learning experience rewarding–the students for the joy of being able to participate in another people’s way of life; the teachers for the privilege of sharing with others something which they deeply cherish. xxiv

Previous Chapter


Next Chapter


Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Creative Commons
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.