Filipino’s deteriorating proficiency in English
So what is wrong with the Philippines, anyway? Why is it that the Filipino's proficiency in the english language is deteriorating.?What is the Philippine government doing to stop and reverse this trend from going any further? Are there anyone in the government that is taking this problem seriously and making it a national issue-- or are the people in government just doesn't care and doesn't have a clue to what's happening to the system.
The Philippines likes to pride itself as one of the nation whose got one of the largest population of english speakers in the world, but yet at the same time the Philippines is doing nothing to maintain and fortify that edge that people likes to talk about. While the asian countries like Singapore, India ,South Korea, Taiwan, China, etc are gearing their people to excel and be more competitive in their proficiency in english, the Philippines seem to have no plan of their own in maintaining their edge as a nation who excel in the English language. The Philippines is just sitting idly by, dwelling on the past and never even bother thinking about the future. No wonder the Filipino's proficiency in English is deteriorating.
Also it doesn't help either that the Philippine Board of Education's big man mandated that all Higher Learning Education in the country are obligated to have their students learn the Chinese language and become proficient at it. Rather than mandating Filipinos students to learn the english language and become proficient at it, Filipinos are force to learn the Chinese language that is less valuable to Filipinos than if you were to learn the English language.. The Chinese language is important too, but I think it's even more important that Filipinos must learn the English language first before venturing to learning some other foreign language. The reason for this change, they explained, was that the Filipino-chinese are doing such a fine job with the economy that they felt compelled to show them just how much they appreciate it by making the Chinese language mandatory in all Higher Learning Education in the Philippines , or something to that effect. So how does that gonna help the aspiring Filipino student who wanted to learn the english language so that he/she could be accepted to that job or position that he/she is seeking. When it is more important than ever that Filipinos improved the quality of their english, the Philippines has to make a bad decision like this. I think it is a mistake. Even the Singaporians are very much concerned about the quality of their english...so why shouldn't we? Why not the English language first before the chinese language?
********* News Article *************
Joyful graduation ceremonies are over. Now it’s time for reality check: There aren’t enough jobs out there for the Class of 2002. Among those whose job expectations are the most deflated are graduates of courses in information technology. In the age of cyberspace a career in IT was supposed to be the most promising; the manpower supply couldn’t meet the demand. A two-year course, although relatively expensive for someone from a lower-income family, could quickly have profitable returns. IT held the promise of a high-paying job overseas.
But then came the tech meltdown. The dotcom bubble burst, Silicon Valley turned into a ghost town and IT no longer beckoned like the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The terror attacks on Sept. 11 last year worsened the economic slowdown.
The tech sector, however, is starting to recover. So how come our IT graduates are complaining that they can’t find jobs? One reason, according to a recent report, is the Filipino’s deteriorating proficiency in English, lingua franca of information technology. Trade and Industry Secretary Mar Roxas said that with the glut in IT workers, proficiency in English is a major advantage. But many Filipinos can no longer speak English fluently or comprehend instructions in English quickly.
This is not surprising, since education officials themselves have acknowledged that the teaching of Eng-lish in the country has steadily deteriorated. It has not helped that "Taglish" has come into widespread use – a melange of Tagalog, English, local street slang and "swardspeak" that has resulted in Filipinos losing proficiency in both English and their native language.
Can the damage be undone? Filipinos used to take pride in their proficiency in both oral and written Eng-lish. It was one of the nation’s few advantages in this highly competitive region. Over the years we have lost this edge, and little has been done to stop the trend. Meanwhile our neighbors are aggressively pushing programs to promote English proficiency. The Philippines has failed to promote genuine bilingualism, and our graduates are paying for it.