By Irene A. Melegrito, Teacher III, Barolome R. Sangalang NHS
Globalization has caused most, if not all, countries, with English as second language, to
strengthen the clamor among younger generation to become communicatively competent using the
target language. It has been believed that acquiring this language is an advantage. Malaysia,
considering English as second language also sees its value: they insisted that learning English
language would uplift their status on the global arena (Krishnan, Devi, and Yunus, Melor, 2018).
The Philippine Educational System further adheres and supports programs, innovations, and
activities fostering learning of English.
Technological advancements specifically on gadgets connected on wifi like cellphone,
however have led two contradicting result on the educational prowess of any countries in the world.
The first one tells that with seemingly uncontrollable internet connection, learners have already
difficulty focusing on their studies; on the contrary, a portion of the entire population of gadget
users tells that they have improved a lot due to internet connections. To sight, it has been argued
that frequent exposure on videos may improve the speaking capacity of viewers such that of kids
tuned in to cartoon shows and programs like Peppa Pig. Alpha Generation, for example could
manipulate cellphones and other gadgets on their own; making them connected on videos via
internet. That is why a lot of children nowadays speak like Mr. Bean—a British accent speaker
icon similar to Peppa Pig.
The point of discussion here is whether exposure on Peppa Pig and other cartoon shows
predicts higher level of English mastery or not at all? Or simply, it is the accent alone that has
changed, not necessarily improved, and the thinking capacity undergoes the same development
like those not exposed on this material? And if there is really some sort of improvement, does it
mean Filipino children should disregard other Filipino programs on television and internet in order
to be fluent speakers of English?
There are questions that need to be pondered on: firstly, is British English far better than
Filipino English? secondly, are those children speaking like Peppa Pig considered critically grown
children? and thirdly, are those children speaking like Peppa Pig has the greater chance, or has an
advantage in becoming successful in the later years of life (as this will be predicted by the accent)?
These questions have been discussed already by many linguists and theorists. Nonetheless, the fact
here is that language being acquired by learners is not, and will never be the basis of him/her being
accepted at the UK Embassy for citizenship. Therefore, language is not at all an issue of success
British English has no crown on it. It may be confusing for some; it is not the variant of
English proclaimed to be the best. Every language does.
Language educators say no language is greater than the other. What matters during the
acquisition of the language is mainly communication. To explicate further, Barack Obama uses
American English, Manny Pacquiao, uses Filipino English, and so are the Koreans, Japanese,
Singaporeans and others have their own English but it never separated them from the arena of great
people who have shown remarkable contributions towards a better world.
Peppa Pig could have brought entertainment among children. Peppa Pig’s daily activities
could have taught young children the possibilities of their adventures as young ones; but the
language used by Peppa Pig could not, and will never determine the kind of persons these children
will be in the future. Moreso, having learned the accent is a bonus of attention because one
becomes a little different from the crowd, but not the entirety of being special. Because, the real
ordeal of humans is not on the language but on how to connect with others as equal as you are
regardless of age, rank and file, sex, race and religion. The world’s beauty lies not on the language
being used but on the level of unconditional understanding everyone is capable of giving to one
another. Weird as it maybe, mute and deaf murmur only but they are most loved and cared for by
many. It is because what they use as language is love, sensitivity, and respect to their fellows even
if some could not give these feelings back to them.
Speaking like Peppa Pig is like speaking as the Queen of London; and or speaking like J.K.
Rowling—will we be like them because we speak like them?
Boon or Bane?