The English Language In The Philippines English Language Essay

The Filipinos foremost encountered the English linguistic communication when British ships arrive at Manila, the capital of the Philippines, during the Battle of Manila although the linguistic communication flourished during the American business. The Philippines became an insular country of the United States when the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States for US $ 20 million dollars in the 1898 Treaty of Paris after the licking of Spain in the Spanish-American War after being a settlement of Spain for more than three centuries. The Philippines so remain an insular country of the United States until 1946 when the Philippines gained independency from the Americans.[ 2 ]

In 1901, a group of around five 500 American pedagogues called “ Thomasites ” ( derived from theA USSA Thomas, the conveyance ship that brought them to the Philippines ) replaced the American soldiers who besides functioned as instructors. They were sent to the Philippines to set up a new extremely centralized public school system, to learn basic instruction and to develop Filipino instructors utilizing English as the medium of direction. In 1902, more American instructors followed the Thomasites conveying the entire count of American instructors to about 1,074[ 3 ].

In 1935, English was officially added as an official linguistic communication aboard Spanish in the 1935 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines.[ 4 ]38 old ages subsequently, during the announcement of the 1973 Constitution, English remained as an official linguistic communication adding Filipino and dropping Spanish during the procedure.[ 5 ]The stature of English as an official linguistic communication remains until today as stated by the 1987 Constitution.[ 6 ]

At present, based on the nose count released by the Filipino authorities in 2005, the Philippines has 27,000 people who considers English as their first linguistic communication and 42,500,000 who regard it as a 2nd linguistic communication which brings the sum of English talkers in the Philippines to 45,900,000 doing it the 5th largest English-speaking state behind the United States, India, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.[ 7 ]

English and its Economic Importance

The Americans, during their 48-year business, influenced the Filipinos in a batch of ways: the American instruction system, the American signifier of authorities, the American Dream and the Western civilization to call a few. But the most of import gift that the Americans have imparted the Filipinos may hold been the English linguistic communication.

English is used in the Philippines by media and assorted educated Filipinos. English is widely used in the instruction field. It is considered as a major topic and is taught in the Philippines from rating one to college and is the medium of instructions in many schools. Most school text editions for topics such as Biology, Physics, Mathematics and others are printed in English and are seldom has Filipino versions. Besides, for extremely proficient topics such as nursing, medical specialty, calculating, and concretion, English is the preferable medium for text editions, communicating, etc. Aside from instruction, it is besides used spiritual personal businesss, print and broadcast media, and concern. Movies and Television plans in English are non subtitled and are expected to be straight understood.[ 8 ]

The most important part of the English linguistic communication to the Philippines though might be on the socio-economic field. Due to the Filipinos strong bid of the English linguistic communication, several chances opened for their state. These chances are chiefly: abroad employment, the outsourcing industry, touristry, and registration of international pupils in the Philippines.

The ground for Filipinos go forthing the state is simple: life is difficult in the Philippines. Around 35.79 million or 40 % of the 91.5 million of the population are under the Poverty Line. The state of affairs of their state forced the Filipinos to seek greener grazing land abroad. Lack of occupation chances in their state and higher wages that exceed those given in the Philippines pushed Filipinos to travel abroad in their effort for better life. As of 2007, there are about 8 million Overseas Filipinos Workers ( OFWs ) , who are seeking work overseas. This does n’t include 3 million Filipinos who are now citizens of other who are now lasting occupants of other states conveying the sum to 11 million, tantamount to approximately 12 % of the entire population or 30.7 per centum of the state ‘s labour force of 35.79 million of theA Philippines.[ 9 ]Annually, an approximate of 1 million Filipinos depart for work abroad through abroad employment bureaus and other plans, including authorities sponsored 1s. Since Filipinos are familiar in English, foreign employers prefer them over their opposite numbers. English-speaking states, in peculiar, saw a rise in the figure of Filipinos, largely OFWS, in their several states doing them as preferred topographic points by OFWS because of the absence of a linguistic communication barrier due chiefly to the English competency of Filipinos. In the United States entirely, there reside around 4 million Filipinos. Meanwhile, United Kingdom is considered place by around 200,000 OFWs. In December 2008, the Philippines passed China as the taking beginning of immigrants of Canada. Several Filipinos can besides be found in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Nigeria, Middle East, Ireland, Mexico, Iraq, Spain, Japan and etc. OFWs frequently work as physicians, physical healers, comptrollers, IT professionals, applied scientists, designers, A entertainers, technicians, instructors, military military mans, mariners, nurses, personal service workers, health professionals, domestic assistants and family amahs. Remittances, in the signifier of money, sent by the abroad Filipino workers ( normally known as OFWs ) back to theA Philippines, A are major factor in the state ‘s economic system, amounting to more than US $ 10 billion in 2005. This makes Philippines the 4th largest receiver of foreign remittals behindA India, A China, andA Mexico. The sum histories for 13.5 % of the Philippines’A GDP, the largest in proportion to the domestic economic system among the four states mentioned.[ 10 ]

Meanwhile, the concern procedure outsourcing industry is an country which has quickly developed thanks to the Philippines holding an English-speaking work force. Business procedure outsourcingA ( BPO ) is a subset ofA outsourcingA that involves theA contractingA of the operations and duties of specific concern maps ( orA procedures ) to a third-party service supplier.[ 11 ]

This industry is regarded as one of the fastest turning industries in the world.A BPO industry in the Philippines has grown 46 % yearly since 2006. This roar is led by demand forA offshoreA call centres. Industry estimates from the Board of Investments, Business Process Association of the Philippines ( BPA/P ) and BPO Services Association ( BSA/U ) put the figure of people employed by the BPO sector by terminal of 2008 at 435,000 ( vs. 372,000 in 2007 ) . The BPO end product for 2008 was US $ 6.1B ( vs. US $ 4.5B in 2007 ) , seting the Philippines as the 3rd largest BPO finish ( 15 % ) after India ( 37 % ) and Canada ( 27 % ) . It is expected to hit US $ 7.2B to 7.5B in 2009. The industry was optimistic of 18 % growing in head count 2009. Overall, Philippine BPO is forecast to gain between US $ 11 to 13 billion and using 900,000 extra people in 2010.A[ 12 ]

Tourism, an industry which has a batch of job-generating chances, is another country where Filipinos are happening more occupation chances for their English accomplishments. The touristry industry plays an of import function in the Filipino economic system. The industry has an one-year gross of $ 2.25 billion dollars. In 2008, amidst the planetary fiscal crisis there were still over three million tourers who visited the state.[ 13 ]Aside from the myriad of civilizations, beautiful sights to call a few, the capableness of most Filipinos to discourse in English is one of the grounds for the uninterrupted influx of tourers in the Philippines.

“ Our state is comprised of 7,107 islands with a diverseness of civilization that rivals the U.S. , ” observes Emma Ruth Yulo, manager of the Philippine Department of Tourism in New York, “ but English is widely spoken throughout the Philippines, doing our American visitants feel safe and welcome. ”[ 14 ]

In 2004, the Department of Foreign Affairs ( DFA ) , the Department of Tourism ( DoT ) , the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority ( TESDA ) and the Bureau of Immigration ( BI ) signed a memoranda of understanding ( MoA ) on the “ English as Second Language ” Program ( ESL ) , which aims to do the Philippines non merely a tourer finish but besides a finish for larning the English linguistic communication.

DFA Acting Secretary Jose Brillantes said the ESL Program aims to increase tourer reachings in the Philippines by offering to aliens non merely a circuit of the Philippines but besides an English proficiency plan.[ 15 ]

This memoranda must been the ground for the recent big inflow of Asiatic pupils particularly South Koreans that has come to the Philippines to analyze English. This shows that the Philippines, 3rd largest English-speaking state in the universe and the biggest in Asia before being overtaken by` India, have become a haven for people who want quality English instruction at an low-cost cost.

“ The Philippines, following intensive attempts to advance medical touristry in the state, has now launched steps to pull Asiatic pupils to its colleges and universities. The alleged ‘education touristry ‘ is aiming pupils from China and India to fall in the 1000s of Taiwanese and Korean pupils already in the Philippines for short-run classs or full college degrees.A Carlito Puno, president of the Commission on Higher Education ( CHED ) , is taking the Philippines ‘ attempts at ‘education touristry. ‘ In June 2007, the Philippines authorities and the Education Ministry of China signed a memoranda that would welcome and let Chinese pupils who are non able to inscribe in Chinese universities to prosecute their surveies in the Philippines.A

The authorities of the Philippines claims that the state is a good option for foreign pupils since it offers third instruction system and proficiencyA in English linguistic communication that is of good quality at relatively inexpensive rates.A

Harmonizing to the Commission on Higher Education, by September 2007, a batch of over 1,500 Indian pupils is due to arrive and enroll in colleges and universities in the Philippines. Presently, over 100,000 Koreans are in the Philippines prosecuting largely English-language classs. ”[ 16 ]A


Despite of the economic benefits of being an English-speaking state, Filipinos have n’t been maximising it and in fact, surveies are demoing that the Filipinos ‘ appreciation of the English linguistic communication is stealing while other Asians are fast catching up. Surveies done by Reputable international organisations such as the International English Language Testing System ( IELTS ) shows that the English accomplishments of Filipinos are deteriorating. In 2008, in an article written by Karl Wilson published online by The National, Filipinos scored an overall mean of 6.69 for listening, composing, reading, and speech production, a really low figure based on international criterions.[ 17 ]In a countrywide study conducted on 1200 grownups in March 8-14 of 2006 by Social Weather StationsA orA SWS, aA public sentiment pollingA organic structure in theA Philippines, showed the worsening English competency of Filipinos by earlier SWS studies done in December 1993 and September 2000 to the recent 1.[ 18 ]Looking at the graph below, we can see that the English proficiency of Filipinos have been really stable from 1993-2000 and that the diminution is merely a recent phenomenon. The most alarming statistic was the rise in the per centum of the surveyed respondents who are unqualified in English which doubled from a measly 7 % in 1993 and 2006 to 147 in 2006.

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Figure Self-assessed English Competence of Filipino Adults, December 1993, September 2000 and March 2006

One of the most normally given ground for the diminution in the English proficiency was the debut of the Filipino as the national linguistic communication. When the Philippines gained independency in 1946, English was so good established that it remained an official linguistic communication, along with Spanish. Then, in 1973, the fundamental law imposed by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos made Filipino ( based on the local lingua of Manila and the environing states ) an official linguistic communication aboard English. In the 1970s, Filipino began to replace English as the chief linguistic communication of direction in schools, in the name of state edifice. Since so, advertizers have progressively run media runs in Filipino to aim the mass market. Besides, consequences of National Achievement Test ( NAT ) from school old ages 2002 to 2005 showed higher evaluations in Science and Math than in English proposing that English may non be the medium of direction for learning these topics.[ 19 ]

The impairment of the quality of instruction due chiefly to the every bit underachieving economic system of the Philippines was besides regarded as a factor. Consequences from a survey conducted by the by the Department of Education in 2004 showed that merely 1 in 5 public high school instructors is adept in the English linguistic communication. Harmonizing to the Department of Education, around 13,200 public school instructors in the simple degree or 13 % the sum were found missing in English proficiency while of around 1,300 or 1 % of the entire high school instructors were non adept in English.[ 20 ]Former Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapuz stated that he, himself, hears narratives of pupils kicking about instructors that lacks English competency.[ 21 ]The English insufficiency of the instructors, meanwhile, straight affects their pupils. About 43 per centum of pupils finish high school and merely 2 percent finish college.[ 22 ]

The diminution in the English accomplishments of Filipinos has been widely criticized. The turning BPO industry in the state is one of the sectors that have trouble in make fulling up places due to low recruitment output and deficiency of appliers fluid in English. A 2007 survey by the Business Process Association of the Philippines ( BPAP ) and showed that 46 per centum of the companies surveyed found merely 6 to 20 per centum of appliers qualified.[ 23 ]Long-run foreign occupants say that in the late sixtiess it was possible to discourse in English with about any Filipino that had attended simple school. They say it is now difficult to happen ordinary Filipinos under the age of 40 who can talk English confidently.[ 24 ]

Change by reversaling the Decline

The local authorities of the Philippines recognizes the diminution in the state ‘s English proficiency and has been originating attempts in seeking to change by reversal this diminution.

In May 17, 2003, to turn to this job of diminishing competency in English among Filipinos, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Executive Order 210. The order recognized that there is a demand to develop the aptitude, competency and proficiency of our pupils in the English linguistic communication to keep and better their competitory border in emerging and aggressive local and international industries, peculiarly in the country of Information and Communications Technology [ ICT ] .[ 25 ]The order stated three policies: the instruction of the English as a 2nd linguistic communication get downing organize the first class, the usage of English the medium of direction for English, Mathematics and Science get downing from the 3rd class, and the usage of the English linguistic communication as the primary medium of direction in all public and private establishments of larning in the secondary degree, including those established as research lab and/or experimental schools, and non-formal and vocational or proficient educational establishments.[ 26 ]

In early 2007, President Arroyo directed the Department of Education to utilize English as the medium of direction in all school degrees.[ 27 ]In the same twelvemonth, P500 million was released by President Arroyo to the Department of Education for the execution its English proficiency betterment plan.[ 28 ]The authorities has besides mandated remedial English categories for instructors.

A measure authored by Cebu 1st District Representative Eduardo Gullas is besides intended to assist in the reversal of this diminution. The House Bill 5619 or “ An Act to Strengthen and Enhance the Use of English as Medium of Instruction in Philippine Schools prescribes the usage of English, Filipino or the regional/native linguistic communication from pre-school to Rate 3 and the usage of English as the instruction linguistic communication in all academic topics from classs 4 to 6, and in all degrees of high school.[ 29 ]Although As of January 16, 2009, a reported 213 legislators, a figure adequate to go through the proposed measure into a jurisprudence, have already agreed in co-authoring the measure with Gullas.

These authorities initiated attempts is really working. In the same Karl Wilson article, there was a “ little betterment ” in English in low-performing secondary schools in the Philippines harmonizing to the consequences from the National Achievement Trials of 2007 and 2008.[ 30 ]In a follow-up study done by SWS in April 2008 by SWS betterments in the English competency in Filipinos can be seen in comparing to old surveies done in 1993, 2000, and 2006. Looking at Figure 2, we can see that the per centum of the respondents who are unqualified in English declined from 14 % in 2006 to 8 % , a little index that the authorities is really wining in its attempt to change by reversal the diminution in the English proficiency of Filipinos.

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Figure Self-assessed English Competence of Filipino Adults from December 1993 to April 2008[ 31 ]


This essay has attempted to demo the economic importance of the English linguistic communication in the Philippines by analysing the economic benefits of an English competent state, a countrywide diminution in English proficiency and the attempts of the authorities to change by reversal it.

Language has different intents. Its primary intent is to pass on. Through linguistic communication, we can convey information and emotions while understanding others at the same time. Language is the chief agencies of interaction between worlds unifying persons and making human societies. Language, through intelligent use, has besides the capableness to act upon one ‘s manner of believing doing it as a utile tool for arousing such as propaganda. Language though can be utilized in more ways and the Philippines shows us that a linguistic communication, English, can be used for economic development.

The American business left the Philippines and imparted the Philippines of what will be subsequently known as the planetary linguistic communication, English. The Filipinos cognition of the linguistic communication was utile in their pursuit for better life abroad for they were preferred by foreign employers for their English accomplishments, aside from being skilled labourers or qualified professionals at cheaper costs. Coincidentally, the Filipinos sending of remittals back to the Philippines have non merely helped their household and relations but besides their state. The remittals that they send add to the foreign exchange net incomes of the Philippines and history for 10 % of its GDP assisting the Philippines weather the recent 2008 planetary fiscal crisis.

The Filipinos have besides been able maximized their proficiency in English even inside the state through the recent demand of workers in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry, touristry ( both holding big job-generating chances ) and registration of international pupils in the Philippines.

These economic benefits of the English linguistic communication are extremely recognized by the Filipinos and particularly the authorities. The diminution in the English proficiency in Filipinos was rapidly acted upon by the authorities, supplying legislative actions although the execution of these is something to be looked upon. The nationalism of Filipinos, evident in desiring and continuing a national linguistic communication, which finally was one of the grounds for the diminution in their English proficiency is besides something to be farther studied.

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