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Filipino college graduates' English proficiency declining
« on: March 05, 2018, 07:09:08 PM »
REP. SALVADOR B. BELARO, JR.
1-Ang Edukasyon Party-list
Assistant Majority Leader
Member, Higher and Technical Education and 10 other committees

FILIPINOS' ENGLISH PROFICIENCY AS BEST FOOT FORWARD IS SUFFERING FROM ARTHRITIS

Concerned about test results showing Filipino college graduates' English proficiency declining while other countries are improving, 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-List Rep. Salvador Belaro, Jr recently delivered a privilege speech pushing for English as an official language of the country.

Comparing the results of the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) across ASEAN, Hopkins International Partners found that Thai high school students are more proficient in English than Filipino college graduates.

Hopkins International Partners said Filipinos are ranked only third or fourth among the ASEAN countries in terms of English proficiency and that the Philippines' proficiency is on the decline while others are on the rise.

In the two-year study of Hopkins International Partners, Filipino university graduates average a score of only 630, a far cry from the 850 passable score required by business process outsourcing companies the world over. The study also noted that it is lower than the competency requirement for taxi drivers in the United Arab Emirates, and lower than that of the high school graduates of Thailand and Vietnam.

At the heart of the problem is the Department of Education’s not giving English the proper emphasis it deserves in the instruction of our schoolchildren. Instead of allowing English to grow in conjunction with the teaching of Filipino, our national language, the resulting scenario was that the promotion of Filipino in our schools came at the expense of teaching English, when the ideal but also realizable scenario could be the mutual development of both English and Filipino as languages of instruction.

One practical twin solution to improve English proficiency in our schools is to require, with training and testing costs shouldered by the government, all public school teachers of English to be certified by the TESDA as English proficient.

The proficiency course would be in-service training for those who are already teaching. The incentive for undergoing the English proficiency training can be a two-step increase in salary plus service credits commensurate to the hours of training undergone. English teachers who would need to take the proficiency test again would undergo further intensive training (cost shouldered by the DepEd).

For those who are studying to become English teachers, the TESDA English proficiency training can be embedded into the baccalaureate program as one of the requirements for graduation.

By improving the English proficiency of our teachers, we strengthen the English competencies of our youth. It will help secure a better future for them. (END)

REFERENCES:
http://www.hopkins.ph/
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/644114/english-proficiency-of-pinoy-students-teachers-lagging-survey/story/
http://www.ets.org/toeic/successes

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