English Language Laboratory

Historical Background

In 1984, the English Writing Laboratory (EWL) was born "as on offshoot of the students' urgent need to simultaneously accomplish course requirements and work on their specific deficiencies in English communication skills."

The EWL "existed primarily for the purpose of making students achieve communicative competence, without having them go through the rigors of remediation." (From the Ablaza report: "Speech and Writing Lab. 1994 and Beyond")

In 1986 the lab expanded the scope of its services to include speech, thus the laboratory was re-named the Speech and Writing Laboratory or SWL and it was housed at Miguel 405. This dual focus was consistent with the nature of English One then, which was partly speech communication and partly a reading and writing course. However, based on feedback from both faculty and students, speech was made into a separate subject (SPEECOM now) with the reading and writing components kept in ENGLISH ONE (now called ENGLCOM). Greater focus given to each subject has meant some major improvements in the facilities and resources of the speech and reading/writing laboratories, thus necessitating another change in name. The name English Language Laboratory (ELL) was adopted in 2002. In 2006, the ELL along with the College of Education moved to the Bro. Andrew Bldg. It is presently located in A1410 (the Writing Laboratory) and in A1408 (the Speech Laboratory formally named the Horacio Cebrero Sr. Language Laboratory).

The Mandate of the ELL:

The English Language Laboratory (ELL) is the laboratory/remediation arm of the Department of English and Applied Linguistics. It seeks to supplement English classroom instruction by extending tutorials in the four macro-skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. In this manner, the deficiencies of students in grammar, reading, speaking, listening and writing are addressed.

The primary beneficiaries of ELL's services are the ENGLONE students whose tuition includes the tutorial sessions in the ELL. The ELL also offers tutorials in academic reading and writing to graduate students.

Tutorials at the ELL:

Based on the results of a diagnostic essay written at the beginning of the term, students are referred to the ELL for extra sessions/work on perceived language difficulties/deficiencies. A tutor is assigned to a small group of students (maximum is 10 students) and s/he gives seatwork and homework to them to reinforce learned skills. For grammar exercises, the students use the software Grammar 3D which is installed in the ELL computers.

On the average, tutorial sessions last 10.5 hours which are scheduled in three batches in order to accommodate more students. Students are evaluated and given points as part of their grade in ENGLONE. The students likewise grade their tutors.

The ELL tutors come from the Department of English and Applied Linguistics (DEAL). Assignment or renewal of assignment as tutor depends on the tutor's evaluation and attendance.

Facilities and Resources at the ELL:

For language tutorials, the ELL has 10 computers, two printers, a reading corner with current issues of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Time, The Philippine Star, Newsweek, and National Geographic, among others.

The Speech Lab has an LCD, computers, and digital cameras. Students' speech deliveries are videotaped and are reviewed by the students themselves as a form of self-critiquing.

Plans for the ELL:

The DEAL is studying the inclusion of ELL work in ENGF01 (Advanced Technical Reading and Writing - foreigners' class) as the 1st step towards making graduate students avail themselves of the services of ELL. Expansion of ELL services to include other language-related services (such as editing, etc.) is under study.

-- Prepared by RZMiciano, Coordinator, ELL (6/8/09)