EDUCATION in Lanao is inevitably the most valued wealth among Meranaws. Aside from the existence of Mindanao State University (MSU) here in the melting pot of south, it cannot be denied that education is considered a glorious wealth for every Meranaw family.
This is manifested in the hundreds of streamers and tarpaulins found in the streets and houses in Lanao, especially in Marawi City. Every family has the pride to announce to the community the significance of passing the bar examination and other licensure exams.
This pride is contributed by MSU’s continued offer for quality education to the Meranaws. In the aspect of instruction and research, MSU has continued to mold experts in different fields.
In fact, recently, through my initiative as the conference coordinator, the university had its first of its kind conference called the First Mindanao State University Applied Linguistics Conference held on March 21, 2014, when all teachers and applied linguistics researchers converged to ignite the burning interest for research in the field of English Language teaching in Lanao and Mindanao as a whole. This was designed to enhance the language education in this part of the country.
In the conference, researches related to the current issues in applied linguistics were discussed in order to address the needs of the 21st century learners from Lanao and the Minsupala region.
What made this enormous activity a remarkable one for women like us was the consistent realization that women have created their niche in the field of research. Ninety-five percent of the presenters and speakers in the said event were women.
To acknowledge their outstanding contribution to the field, this article is dedicated to the empowered women researchers who made the 1st MSU Applied Linguistics Conference a successful one.
Dr. Minang D. Sharief and Dr. Medaylin B. Acraman were the plenary speakers. They both had their PhDs from the University of the Philippines to serve as among the pioneering mentors of the institution. They served the university for almost five decades in order to strengthen the abilities of MSUans’ language education.
In the conference, Dr. Sharief shared current issues and trends in English Language Teaching around the globe, while, Dr. Acraman focused on the teacher’s role in corrective feedback and its implication to learners’ competencies and fluency.
In the parallel sessions, equally important concepts were shared by competent Meranaw women researchers.
Coming from different MSU learning units, Dr. Johara D. Alangca-Azis of MSU-Tugaya Community High School shared her research focusing on Adult English Language Learners; Prof. Rocaira Racman-Gumal of the MSU-Pre University Center shared her findings on English Proficiency Upgrading Materials; Prof. Sofailah Panggaga of the MSU-Integrated Laboratory School presented Cooperative Learning Strategy; Prof. Asral M. Tocalo of MSU–Siawadatu Community High School offered her findings on English Language Proficiency Focused on Reading Comprehension.
From the University English Department, Professors Johana L. Gandamra, Bai Salam Ibrahim, and Sharifa Khalid-Masorong shared their research findings on Learning Style Preferences, Perceptions on the Use of Web 2.0 Tools, and Error Analysis, respectively.
From the English language teaching novice researchers, Rayhana Minalang-Limbona, Zenaida Candia, Aisa Hayanie Casan, Zahiya Hadji Salih and Sittie Hafsah Lomangco showcased their researches related to computer-assisted language learning.
Similarly competitive non-Meranaw scholars in the conference were the women academicians and researchers of MSU who were able to share their researches designed for the Meranaw learners. Dr. Godiva Eviota-Rivera talked about Code-switching issues, Dr. Anna Liza Lomoljo on the issue of MTB-MLE, Prof. Shangrela V. Genon-Sieras on Visual and Audio Cues, Ms. Diane Sabellano on CALL, and Ms. Annabelle Rabaya on Viewers’ Response issues.
Interestingly, there were only two gentlemen who joined as presenters. They were Lourd Greggory Crisol and John Brian Alamillo from MSU-IIT and MSU Naawan. They presented their paper on K-12 curriculum shift.
Undeniably, research and instruction are both significant aspects of a learner’s life. It is a pride that women dominate this aspect of interest in this community. They always served as the light that illuminates in the darkness of ignorance.
(Professor Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph is currently the chairperson of the Communication and Media Department, Mindanao State University, Marawi City.)