Erosion of English Skills

Australian business consultant, Peter Wallace said that the Philippines could be a major player in information technology, in the call center industry, and even in health care services and tourism.

“But only if it speaks English,” Mr. Wallace said as quoted by Carlos Conde in his article, Erosion of English Skills Threatens Growth in the Philippines [1].

In the same article, Conde mentioned the study conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. According to the study, 75 percent of the more than 400,000 Filipino students that graduate from college each year have ‘substandard English skills.

A survey by Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) supported the observation on “erosion” of English skills in the country. The BPAP survey indicated that most call center companies hired only 5 percent to 10 percent of the job applicants they interviewed, mainly because of inadequate English proficiency.

Furthermore, the U.S. State Department, in its “2007 Investment Climate Statement,” observes, “English-language proficiency, while still better than in other Southeast Asian nations, is declining in the Philippines.” [2]

The “Patch”

The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council certified House Bill 305 or the Proposed Act to Strengthen and Enhance the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Philippine Schools, filed by Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas, as a priority bill, says SunStar [3]. The bill revives English as the mandatory language for teaching in all school levels.

Under the Gullas bill:

– English, Filipino or the regional language shall be the medium of instruction in all subjects from pre-school to Grade 2;

– English and Filipino shall be taught as separate subjects in all levels of elementary and high school;

– English shall be the medium of instruction in all academic subjects from Grade 3 to Grade 6, and in all levels of high school;

– In the tertiary level, the current language policy as prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education shall be maintained;

– In addition to formal instruction, the use of English shall be encouraged as a language of interaction in school.

The organization of English clubs such as book, oratorical, debating, writing and related associations shall be encouraged.

HB 305 also proposes the use of English as the language of assessment in all government examinations and entrance tests in all public schools and state universities and colleges.

This is a good start, Honorable Gullas!

JGG|Mandaue City
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!|Contact: Send Mail

6 thoughts on “Erosion of English Skills

  1. bai, happy happy happy Christmas og merry merry merry new year.. pwede ko magbinisaya diri? hehe

    hhmmmm, nagpiyesta na siguro ang mahayag og molave ani… maminaw nalang kaha ko sa tagubtob sa inyong kwarto kung asa man gani mong kwartoha magbinugno-ay bai kauban sa imong pinangga..

    amping lang pirmi….. uban kitang tanan sa pagsugat og sa pagsaulog sa kasumaran sa adlawng natawhan sa atong manunubos.

    wla na, english is totally eroded..

  2. Pingback: Improving English Proficiency « third wave

  3. I don’t get it. It’s the preschool to Grade 2 years that are crucial in the development of language skills. Why not introduce English in those years as well?

    batang buotan says:
    Thank you.
    Yes, that period is crucial in the development of linguistic skills. I agree, it’s better to introduce English in those years as well

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