How to Study the Course

Begin with Module I and study each module in sequence. Before you start the audio for each module, read the objectives for the module.  The objectives will give you a clear idea of what you will be learning in the lessons of the module.

After practicing the conversation check the Notes on the Conversation either in the PDF file or my notes online that include the material from the book and may include additional notes also.  I am trying to add notes after each exercise that further explains content in the exercise and related concepts.

In addition to grammatical explanations, the notes contain cultural and general information related to the subject or to the setting of the conversation.

All the instructions are in the audios; do not try to study the course without listening to the audios. When you are listening and repeating in Tagalog, try to imitate the speakers on the recording as closely as possible.

If it helps you to look at the Tagalog, by all means do so, but remember to trust your ears rather than your eyes. In the exercises in which you are required to respond in Tagalog, the correct response will be given on the audio. Responses and cues to the self-evaluation quizzes and to exercises provided in the online transcripts of the audio lessons as well as in the Key section near the end of the PDF file as well as the Key section on the website.

Conversations for Listening Comprehension

Near the end of each lesson  there is a Conversation for Listening comprehension.  In each lesson it is usually the last exercise.

These conversations may include words or expressions from lessons you have already studied or they may include new words.

This conversation is for listening practice and it is important that you try to understand as much as possible without looking at your text. Play the conversation several times if you need to. The first time, you may get only a general idea of what is happening, but each time you play it you will understand more. You will be able to confirm any guesses you have made, and you will find yourself beginning to think in Tagalog.

Student Guide

The last step in this exercise is to check your text and any notes on the exercise; then play the conversation again while following your text. The English translation, if you need it, is available online in the transcripts for each audio lesson and also in the Key section of the PDF file.

Keep in mind that the material covered in these conversations is strictly for listening comprehension; any new words or phrases found in these conversations will not be tested in the self-evaluation quizzes.

Alan’s Notes:

Often, the conversations for listening comprehension will seem extremely fast. Please don’t get frustrated.  I find them to be very fast too at times, but I think it is very much like the real world.  When I am sitting among Filipinos here in the Philippines and listening to the conversations, they often speak quickly, so think of it as an immersion experience! 🙂

I like to think of it like playing a game.  If you ever played a video game you may be able to relate.  When you are first learning the game you probably make a lot of mistakes and can’t react very fast. Why? Because it’s new and you are learning.  But, after some determined effort to “beat the game” you will often find yourself to be quite good.  In fact, at some point your skills may be quite impressive!  It’s a process.

That’s the way it is with language learning. Make it fun. Enjoy the “game”.  Try to understand but remember you are new to the language.  After repeatedly listening to the listening comprehenson conversations with the intent to pick up “what you know” you eventually find it to be very easy to understand.  That is a great feeling indeed.

When I was using this course, I especially liked going back and listening to the listening comprehension lessons from previous lessons.  It often put a smile on my face as I was now able to understand it much better.  That’s when you know you are learning.  I love it!


Each lesson contains Say in Tagalog exercises which will help you review for the Self-evaluation Quiz (SEQ) at the end of each lesson.

The exercises are not just say and repeat type drills but usually contain a good deal of new material to learn.  Do not skip the exercises!  There is a lot of new material covered in most of the exercises.

Also, exposure to the language is important. In the beginning it is very helpful to listen to the audio, and read the accompanying text to see how words are pronounced.  In fact, I get a kick out of listening to the instructor on the audios pronounce things like “Tagalog”, or some location names.  He pronounces a lot of things like a typical English speaker would. Then, when you listen to the Tagalog speaker say it, you will know the correct way to say it in Tagalog!  Do NOT say “Tagalog” the way the English speaking narrator says it. It is not the correct pronunciation.

If you have no trouble with all the exercises in the lesson, you are ready for the Self-Evaluation Quiz.

The SEQ, which tests your achievement of the lesson objectives, consists of a series of situations in which you must respond either in Tagalo or in English.

Depending on the objectives of the lesson, you may be called upon to write down numbers (time, prices), or to comprehend limited written material such as signs displayed in public places. The quizzes are on the audio, as are the correct responses to items in which you are required to speak.

The correct answers for the entire quiz are printed in the Key section of the PDF but are also provided in the transcript of the audio.

If you can respond correctly to all the items in the quiz in the time allowed on the audio, you can be confident that you have achieved the objectives of that lesson.

I hope you enjoy your study!  Remember, keep it fun!

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