Tuesday, 31 January 2012


For the last 10 years, AIDS Holistics has struggled to promote the Positive Living message in the context of the PNG National HIV/AIDS response.
Life has been tough, particularly with expatriate advisors seeking to destroy the Positive Living message.
We have found difficulty in making ends meet since we had been banned from funding by the United Nations and AusAID. We struggled on with small personal funding from Australia.
But our message has spread with the input of the churches. The founder became involved with the Catholic Family Life Apostolate and would visit schools to talk of HIV/AIDS awareness. There were talks on Radio Maria and Karai FM.
Now the gates of awareness have opened wide. The founder of AIDS Holistics is a registered teacher in Papua New Guinea and been invited by the principal of Juha College in Port Moresby to take the Personal Development component of grades 9 and 10 education.
Now we have been given a small pay that helps cover expenses of AIDS Holistics. It does not make us rich but takes off some of the pressure.
This small NGO is PNG home grown with a strong voice. It has been set up by an expatriate but with several national members and hundreds of supporters.
It was amazing to examine the curriculum of the Personal Development course to find that it is almost identical to the Positive Living program. Please click:


There is focus on HIV/AIDS, personal growth, peer pressure, relationships, family, family values, domestic violence, nutrition, exercise, health, personal standards, honesty, marriage, parenting, marijuana, homebrew, rights and responsibilities.
The course opened this week with lessons on HIV/AIDS for both grades.  Focus was on infection, mother to child transmission, smoking during pregnancy, ARV, gut attack, circumcision and breast-feeding.
Most of the students are about 17 years old. This Personal Development course will become a key part of their transition to adulthood, marriage and child-bearing.
The Positive Living program has given the founder a deep and comprehensive understanding.

Characteristics of Strong Families


Cached - Similar 30 Nov 2011 – But some families use key strengths
to grow and prosper. What makes ... In strong families, communication
is positive and compliments are common. Third ... There are rules or
principles that they live by. These family patterns or rhythms also give
stability and clarify family roles and expectations. Still, the ...


It is so important for children to understand the beauty of their language by appreciating and internalizing the rhythm and modulation.
All languages have rhythm and all have to use the same way to create rhythm and modulation. It is done by weak and strong stresses and by loud and soft sounds.
This can only be done by the teacher having the students read aloud and recite poetry aloud.
They will understand that poetry in particular runs mainly on weak-strong-weak-strong stress and occasionally with a strong stress to start the sentence. The words stressed below are marked in red.
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.
The English language is able to vary the stress pattern to match the mood of the story. A common stress pattern is weak-weak-strong or even weak-weak-weak-strong. Think of galloping horses.
There was movement at the station for the word had passed around that the colt from old regret had got away.
But rhythm is not limited only to poetry. It is also the key to language. Take the romance languages of Europe that grew out of the Latin of the Roman Empire. These are Italian, French, Spanish and English, all based on weak-strong-weak-strong stress.
Europeans know that the poetic languages include Italian and Spanish. This is the result of their inclusion of extra weak stresses within words. The English were never as poetic.
Take good old English names that are as musical as a boot. These names have few weak stresses and have the feel of a brick wall. Strong stresses are marked below in red. Many strong stresses are found at the start of proper names.
John Charles Smith.  Thomas William Dougall,  Harry Arthur Bloggs
But take the Italians and Spanish who love to put extra vowels in the middle of words and at the end. Note that some words have two vowels at the end eg  Clau di-o. Ni cho-lo.
Nicholas Pietrangeli, Claudio Santa Rossa, Nicholo Versace, Angelina Del Monaco, Angelo, Angela, Pinnochio, Emilio Trafficante, Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Take the word that means the head of a team derived from the latin Caput. The English say Captain which has no music whatever.
The Spanish put a vowel in the middle Kapitain. The Italians have put another vowel in to make the word Kapitano which makes it the music of the angels.
The language of Poland is interesting as it has words without vowels. But we are reliably advised that there are consonants that play the role of vowels.
And who else in the world wants to put vowels in their language? The people of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The Melanesians from here take English and put it to music with addition of a vowel in Tok Pisin.
Take axe which becomes akis. Dance becomes danis. Help becomes halivim. Place becomes peles. In the Solomon Islands, my favourite word is the Pijin for self which has added two vowels to become seleva.
Then we have the word bilas in Tok Pisin. That started on the sugar cane fields of Queensland as the slang word flash as in flash clothes. It became flas in Vanuatu. In Bislama, the word to decorate is flasem.
Somewhere between there and Papua New Guinea, it became blas. Then a vowel was added to make it bilas which means decorations.
So too the word banis. That started as fence. On the way up to Papua New Guinea, it became fans which became bans and banis with a vowel added.
For students of English in Papua New Guinea, there has to be an appreciation and understanding of stress patterns which we learn from speaking, reading, reciting and singing.
This report was part of the introductory briefing to Defence personnel on Tok Pisin courses at the RAAF School of Languages 1978-1992.
We start with the Tok Pisin patterns of weak-strong stress. Certain connectors exist and include the words long, i, bilong, and ol. Bilong is pronounced blaw. Long is pronounced law. These are all weak stresses.
24 Aug 2011 – I came to PNG to serve at Igam Barracks during 1976-1977.
I had just completed a Bahasa Indonesia course at the RAAF School of
Languages ...
Mi go insait long ol haus bilong ol man.
Then we have to know that all English prepositions are weak stresses. These include to, in, at, from, with, on, and many others.
We have also to understand that most words derived from Latin have the root word as the strong stress.
This helps in teaching Latin words to students. Many English words based on Latin have a prefix-root-suffix. And the root word can be identified as the strong stress.
Transcription, injection, revolver, procession, incorporate, compartment, transportation, accident and many others.




LATIN FOR PNG STUDENTS .... Latin roots can enrich understanding

of PNG and Australian ...

So there is a whole world of magic that has been deleted from curricula by uneducated teachers wanting to stop rote learning and reciting aloud.
Our students miss the key understanding to the beauty of their language. English has a grace and elegance of its own that can be appreciated only by the spoken word.

I once met a girl
who was so good to me
and she soon was the light in my life.
She gave me two children,
looked after my house.
I was happy to make her my wife.
Our marriage was strong.
Our family has grown.
My love for her never fades.
And I thanked God each day
that my wife came to stay.
But I did not thank her.
I just gave her AIDS.
She gave the virus to our baby son
and now both are dead and I am dying.
Please God forgive me.

Monday, 30 January 2012


A number of years ago, I was a teacher of English at Busu High School in Papua New Guinea and given all the grade 9 classes to prepare them for the grade 10 exam. My best technique was to show them videos on my TV screen and use this to promote writing skill. Please click:

Over the years, my approach has been polished to the point that teaching writing by DVD has become a most useful technique. I have a player at my house and DVDs from the Discovery Channel.
Let us take a report on DVD. I could show a class the report on the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte emperor of France.
First I would explain the rise of Napoleon who was elevated to power at the end of the French Revolution. I would tell of the execution of nobles of France often with their families.
I would explain how Napoleon rose to power becoming a dictator who waged war across Europe. He was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and exiled to the island of Elba where he died of suspected poisoning.

PLAY THE DVD TO THE CLASS – 20 MINUTES.  Then I would question the class. The responses would be carefully set to be made into one sentence.

Who was Napoleon Bonaparte?
Napoleon Bonaparte was the French dictator
When did he rise to power?
He rose to power in the French Revolution.
What happened in the French Revolution?
The king, queen and nobles were killed.
How were they killed?
They had their heads cut off by guillotine.
What happened to their lands?
Their lands were given to the poor.

How did Napoleon become powerful?
He took command of the armies.
What did he do with the armies?
The armies invaded European nations.
Who led them into battle?
Napoleon led them into battle.
What was the result?
The French empire was begun.

Where was Napoleon’s forces defeated?
Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815
Which forces defeated them?
The British forces defeated him.
What happened to Napoleon?
Napoleon was captured.
Where was he imprisoned?
He was imprisoned on the island of Elba.
Did he live?
He died
What is thought to have killed him?
It is suspected that he was poisoned.
The task would now be to combine the sentences. This would be reserved for the period on the next day. The DVD would be played once more to refresh memories. This also had the aim of improving general knowledge.
Napoleon Bonaparte was the French emperor who rose to power in the French Revolution when the king, queen and nobles had their heads cut off by guillotine and their lands given to the peasants.

He took command of the army and invaded European nations, leading soldiers into battle to begin the French empire.

But Napoleon was defeated by the British at Waterloo in 1815, captured and imprisoned on the island of Elba where he died of suspected poisoning.

Within the month, the students would be required to write a short summary of the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte using the structures above in a time limit of 15 minutes. This would be preparation for the written expression exam.

I would also tell the class of the famous palindrome:

ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA. It reads the same forward and backward.

The same process would be followed.
destruction of Pompeii by volcanic eruption
earthquakes in Mexico City
Aztec sacrifices
extinction of the mammoths
movement of people across the ancient world
fall of the Roman Empire
migration of birds
breeding of turtles
mystery of the eels in the Sargasso Sea

And twenty more

These students are becoming educated while learning English.
Who needs a textbook?

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Kenneth Rouse Oxford University Press
Outcomes Edition for Papua New Guinea
ISBN 978 0 19 556544 7

Grade 10 in Papua New Guinea has access to a great book on personal development. It is up-to-date on HIV/AIDS. It has a focus for young people on the pressures and dangers of sex.

It promotes understanding of HIV/AIDS but does not give any attention to the effect of the virus in attacking the gut and causing a slow decline in the body systems and progressive inability to absorb nutrients, salts and water.

Gut warfare
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
testing the gut lining by assessing how well it. Gut warfare.

Far from the unhurried killer it seemed to be, HIV is a swift
assassin, gutting the body's immune ...

But there is a focus on family and the values of the family. It refers to the influences on family, the roles of family members, the importance of respect in families and the rights and responsibilities of family members.

Students focus on conflict within families and the resolution of conflict. They learn of the importance of role models and the basis of effective and loving parenting. Attention is given to domestic violence and how to overcome violence by loving cooperation and respect.

Students examine the importance of marriage and the roles and responsibilities of husband and wife in caring for the children. They examine universal values. Students are faced with the need for honesty and an attitude to bullying.

Overall, this is a balanced and informative book. Kenneth Rouse and Oxford University Press are to be congratulated.


Papua New Guinea is going through a crisis in the teaching of English. Some aspects of this crisis have been recognized and steps taken to rectify. Others are not understood.
The first in recent times is the removal of teaching in vernacular language. This was a policy foolish in the extreme in that students had their valuable time cut by learning their village language instead of English. Two lessons a week were enough.
It was the work of the Australian National University and Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), the first pushing their funding wagon and the other making progress towards the Second Coming.
Jesus was not coming until all languages had a Bible. He was just sitting up there waiting for the SIL to complete their work.
Village children had much of their time wasted in the fact that the sole organizer of vernacular teaching was often the lone teacher who spoke the language.
The teacher was recruited from the village partly on the basis of own vernacular skill and could not be transferred. Another vernacular teacher may not be available.
But a bigger problem had been escalating for the last 30 years. That is the presence and slow depletion of first language expatriate teachers who maintained a level of English teaching above the national teachers.
But even that had problems. The students who did well in their English education are now middle aged having benefited from  expatriate teachers in the country in the 1960s and 1970s.
Those students from the 1960s and 1970s may well be now retired. Their places have been taken by younger national teachers.
Older teachers from Australia who were consultants have now been replaced by young consultants with doctorates who may or not have experience in teaching and may not have any qualifications in curriculum design.
There has been a massive change in policy across the western world over the last 50 years. The causes are not clear.
Firstly there was a big shake-up in the 1950s and 1960s as the result of the US reaction to the Soviet Union putting the satellite Sputnik into outer space.  Out of all this came Mastery Learning that later was to be known as Outcome Based Education.


8 Sep 2011 – The patron of Mastery Learning and Outcome Based Education
was Benjamin Bloom who designed a Taxonomy of Educational Objectives ...

Then there was the reaction of teachers who decided that the old methods were old fashioned and to be discarded. First to go was the practice of rote learning. Students were to conceptualize rather than memorize. They have come to do neither.
Then came the reaction to the education of their teachers many of whom were men who returned from World War 2. My grade 8 teacher in Queensland was an officer in World War 1.
The baby boomer generation of the 1950s saluted the flag and made an oath of allegiance. Classes moved around the school in squads as they would do in military basic training. Many male teachers were NCOs and officers in the war.
Students were to have short hair that was soon to be pushed aside in the 1960s by the Beatles. Male teachers were to wear respectable clothes with a black tie.
Then there was the style of teaching and the curriculum. Baby boomer children had to know all the grammar rules, punctuation, latin and greek roots, tenses, subjunctive mood, present and present continuous tense, analysis, parsing, copy book writing and synthesis of sentence structures.
Out of this era came wonderfully crafted novels. The best novels that I hold in my private library have immaculate and varied sentence structure and syntax, far more polished than I could ever imagine.
Take the novels of Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Sydney Sheldon, James Patterson, Azar Nafisi, Derek Hansen, Geoffrey Archer, Marcia Willett and many others.
The focus on grammar was reassessed by the baby boomer teachers and much was removed. It was seen to block writing creativity.
There was a saying that “more is caught than taught”. That may be true but it is also true that “much more is caught if taught” and “far more is caught and taught by Mastery Learning”.
This was a foolish fantasy with no basis in research. Australians would say it came out of the fluff in navels. Do we also not have to teach skills to pilots, doctors and engineers?  They just perform on the basis of what they caught.
If Senator McCarthy were alive, he would be seeing the removal of basics as a communist plot to slow down the US in its response to the Soviet technological advance after Sputnik. Or perhaps it was a protest against the Vietnam draft. Anything is possible.
Perhaps the removal of formal teaching of literacy gave more time to baby boomer teachers to make love not war.
But grammar was removed so that students learned to read by reading and write by writing. It was no longer necessary to know what a sentence was. It just happened.
The belief was that students learned language by reading books. This is true of course. Far more detailed language learning takes place if student understanding is reinforced by the basics of grammar, derivation of words and spelling with identification and practice of structures.
Reading becomes confirmation of what has been learned. Writing becomes the application of learning. It is another source of input to the brain. 
Speaking language lays down the memory traces of rhythm, rhyme and modulation. Writing reinforces the structures in symbolic form. Reading develops subliminal reinforcement.
Even in the 1960s, the theorists were telling teachers to appeal to every sense in the learning process. But that was not enough to bring back the basics.
But PNG is now reaping the harvest of poor teaching, first by expatriate teachers in the 1990s to the present.
The nation still had old fashioned teachers until that time. Copeland is one of the last of the old time teachers and seeking to bring back the basics.
It is time to urge the education planners of the world to go back to basics and ignore the teacher ‘flock of sheep’ syndrome. One leads and everyone else follows. A new change comes and all else is thrown out. No such idea of integrating new ideas with the old.
Let us all return to class chanting of multiplication tables, together with:
class recitation of poetry,
focus on phonics in spelling and sentence skill,
oral reading aloud of texts,
return to spelling reinforced by repetition,

derivation of words by greek and latin roots,
student practice of language structures,
promotion of rules of effective and interesting writing,
maintenance of logical argument,
emphasis on grammatically correct sentences, and
writing in terms of all of the above.
The Department of Education is urged to declare that all students are to have learned the multiplication tables by the age of 10 years.
The big mistake is to assume that in the absence of old fashioned teachers, the next to take charge are university lecturers. They may well think that the basics is all about semantics and other abstract concepts. They will want to bring the university curriculum into the primary school classrooms.
Bruce Copeland BA BEdSt (University. St Lucia Brisbane)
teacher of English, Tok Pisin and Bahasa Indonesia
supporter of Mastery Learning and basics.

OBE- Restructuring Of The American Society

This is the core principle of Outcomes Based Education (OBE). ...
developed the principles on which "Mastery Learning" was developed
by Benjamin Bloom. ... used in OBE are based on Benjamin Bloom's
Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.

Saturday, 28 January 2012


My main objection to the Baing book is that it is too esoteric, insular and cloistered in the halls of the university English department.  In other words it is too complex and narrowly focused.
ENGLISH OUTCOMES EDITION Susan Baing Oxford University Press 2010 ISBN 978 0 19 556542 3
The writer does focus on the world and passes a general lack of focus to the students and teachers. This makes the book too out of date in world affairs. Much has happened in the world since the book went to the publishers 3 years ago.

hope, peace, love, ... REVIEW OF TWO GRADE 10 TEXTBOOKS
ON ENGLISH. ENGLISH ... Students can not practise writing by
being required to write on fancy questions

She opts for depth rather than breadth in issues. She covers what she wants to write about and what she knows about rather than what students could learn about. Modern education is supposed to be relevant and comprehensive.
So much in the film reviews was written in pretentious abstract words that have little relevance to the students once they leave the class room. Take Madagascar sequel strictly for kids.
Essentially the sequel has settled down into a sitcom. Each of its zoo raised animals gets resolved before the credits roll.
Gloria is the ghetto fabulous hippo. The penguins have rehabbed on an old crashed airplane. The wreck fortuitously unites Alex with his dad.
His dad’s rival demands that the son performs the rites of passage which result in his rival knocking the stuffing out of him.
What the hell does all that mean to the average Papua New Guinea student? It is in cultural ga ga land. Will the students get to see the film? No. Does the teacher understand the passage? Maybe.
The words and idiom would not be understood by most students and teachers. This is a review written by an expatriate. It is one of the first reviews in the book on P.10 that sets the tone.
English study should give massive opportunity to teachers to open the world to the students and encourage them to think about, discuss and write about the world.
As a teacher with a world view, I do not want to be limited by a book on what I can introduce to students. There is a real world out there that students need to know about. The focus may change class by class.
Who cares about the bias of writers? Most writings have bias that can not be identified.
Who cares about the words that show the writers’ bias. If there is bias, we can read another report that has bias in the other direction.
Who cares about second hand knowledge in film reviews? Tell us about the film. There is massive history in films well chosen.
In years gone past, I showed video clips to students on all sorts of issues. They saw clips of the film Zulu which led to the colonial history of South Africa.
They watched clips about Rev. James Jones in the faith colony in Guyana in which over a thousand of followers took poison and died. This led to discussion of sects that isolate followers and take their money and daughters.
Papua New Guinea had Mathias Yeliwan on Mt Yangoru and Black Jesus who impregnated girls claiming to reward parents with heaven. Religious con-men are the same the world over. This is good background knowledge for students. 

There is a foreign sect presently reaching out for boys and girls in this country. And they are using the tried and true strategy of alienating young people from their families.

There were reports on the Middle East wars and the dangers of internet yet to come to Papua New Guinea.



This was all general knowledge that could be written about and discussed in class. Perhaps the 60 Minutes team was a little biased on the internet story. Who cares? The teacher can add the balance. It is not a big deal.
What about the effects of global warming? Let the teachers prepare a massive scrap book. What of the killing of whales?
Nora Vagi Brash and Lady Morauta are good ladies. But they do not have a world view that we are aware of.
What of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the world? Students should know about the politics of oil. Then there is the politics of developing nations in the world. The newspapers are full of such reports for the class scrap book.
We can discuss the basic tenets of Islam. This can be followed by an examination of suicide bombing and the violence in the Middle East, supported by newspaper cuttings. These are all matters that will never be raised in any other subject. Social science? No. 
This is what English study is all about. We learn about the world, talk  and write about it while developing an intellectual world framework.
Let those students study from the Baing book if they want to spend their lives cloistered in the halls of the university English Department.
Papua New Guinea students have enough problems with learning and using English as second language speakers.
They do not need to be overtaxed with a text book that seeks to launch them into the heights of a first language expatriate learning culture.
Whatever happened to derivation of words? There are hundreds of words based on Latin and Greek. This is very practical knowledge. The latin for the head is Caput. What do we call the head of a ship? captain. What do we call something we put on our heads? cap. What is the word to cut off the head? decapitate.



4 Sep 2011 – Latin roots can enrich understanding of PNG and Australian students.

But most ... Posted by HIV/AIDS: FAMILY POSITIVE LIVING at 16:57 ...
I tell PNG students that they have a link to the Roman Empire and England through the hundreds of words in Latin. This has never been part of the educational curricula of Papua New Guinea.
What ever happened to teaching students to elevate their writing from baby talk? They so badly need it right to grade 12. The Baing book ignores this completely. It is not a passing fad but the very foundation of writing skill.



family Positive Living message is a world message based on . ... would give students
a story written in simple sentences and require them to combine sentences.
Readings from the newspaper are not left to the teachers. Those that appear in the back of the book are not really relevant in supplying information for young people to apply to their adult life and in knowledge of the world.
Let the teachers compile a massive scrap book for use in English classes that enable teachers and students to follow their interests and topics in the news week by week.
Teachers have to be encouraged to use the media as the basis of their teaching. Issues can be followed, discussed, reported and written on.
One problem with teachers in this country is that some want to elevate their knowledge and words above the understanding of students to demonstrate that the teacher is on a high intellectual plane.
Some will prefer that students are unable to do the work as it will show again that the teacher is more intelligent than the students.


There was a time long ago when children used to chant and they loved doing it. They would sing songs and recite poetry as a class. Schools particularly in the lower grades were alive with the sound of music and chanting.

Children learned their multiplication tables forever and ever by chanting with the class. I vividly recall sitting on the verandah of our school with a teacher at the head beating time on her chair with a ruler.

Four twos are eight. Two fours are eight. Four into eight goes two. Two into eight goes 4. Bruce Copeland stop looking over the rail. Whack. 

Four threes are twelve. Three fours are twelve. Four into twelve goes three. Three into twelve goes four…….and so on day after day.

But we knew our tables by the time we were 8 years old. My daughters in PNG are 14 and 13 years old and still do not know their tables by rote. How can they do arithmetic if they do not know their tables?

Then we had mental arithmetic. The teacher had us do calculations in our heads with no making notes. When students had the answer, they put their hands on their heads. All hands on heads? Answers down.

I go into a shop. I buy 4 oranges at 22 cents each. I buy two writing books for 58 cents each. Bruce Copeland stop writing. I can see you.  I buy tea for 45 cents. What change do I get from $10? Goods were cheap in 1955. And there is no pound sign on my computer.

In some crevice of an educational institution, a group of teachers decided that rote chanting was a lower form of learning. This is what is known as the lemming syndrome.
The children had to learn their tables by conceptualizing whatever that meant. Kids stopped knowing their tables.
In earlier times, children had to learn poetry by rote. That may have been their homework to learn a poem. It was not difficult. Many of us would get our mum to hear us while she cooked the evening meal.
Reciting poetry gave a group of students the experience of reciting language with rhythm, rhyme and modulation. Singing songs has the same effect. It is by this approach that students internalize patterns in any language.
I recall my young son Damian who came home from school with new learning. The class was being taught Swahili. His dad worked at the RAAF School of Languages teaching Tok Pisin and was delighted.
Say something in Swahili son. Sorry dad we only write it. The look on his father’s face gave away his sadness. Learning language by writing. What next?
But then singing and reciting poetry ceased to be part of school curriculum because it was too……something.
There are churches that promote reading the Bible among the flock and having them memorize appropriate verses called memory verses.
There is a church school in Port Moresby that has this requirement among the students. This adds a touch of class to education that suffers from the banning of rote learning.
But students have to conceptualize the Bible not learn it by rote. They do that too. That is what they call Bible study.
But students today learn by rote. That is how they pass their exams. But they do not chant. They study until they know the facts.
My mother used to say that as a student in the 1930s, she had to memorize the capes and bays from Cape York to Cape York down the east coast and back again via the coast of Western Australia. That may be stretching things a little too far.
But rote learning can be a valuable discipline that has gone the way of the dodos and dinosaurs.