Pursuing English Proficiency Among Filipino Students Research Paper

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The R Group

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Icct Building, V.V. Soliven Ave. II, Cainta, Rizal

(Pursuing English Proficiency Among Filipino Students)

Purpose: To know what is the level of English Proficiency of students here in our country, and how to enable or bring out the potential of many Filipino students in speaking and using the international language.

Prepared and Researched by: The “R” Group


Nowadays, many Filipino students are not really fluent or proficient in using the English Language, we can’t deny the fact that this is happening in the real world and to our country. We are not saying that our teachers here in the Philippines are not good enough to teach the English Language to our fellow students. But the truth is, a large percent of Filipino students cannot use or speak the English Language correctly. There are many factors to consider in why they can’t speak or use it correctly or properly. Our students must have or must be proficient in English because it is also for their own benefit. They can use it for their future and on what career they might be. Let us enumerate the possible reason why students are not proficient in English, and also we will give the positive result or the benefits we can have if we are proficient in English.

Possible reasons of why students are not proficient in English: 1. Teachers don’t often use the English language as their medium of teaching 2. The school itself don’t encourage students to speak in English. 3. When in English subject, the teacher allows the students to speak “half English half Tagalog”. 4. Students doesn’t have the initiative to read or learn the English Language

Benefits of being proficient in English:
1. It helps us in our daily lives.
2. It helps students to become functional in professional, academic and social settings. 3. It will utilize and maximize our knowledge about things and also about the English Language. 4. It will help us in better communication with others.

Although, there are many more reasons and benefits of being proficient in English, first we will discuss the need of being proficient in English here in our country. We will encounter some questions along the way, but we’ll try our best to answer and provide the accurate answer and information. Pursuing English Language Proficiency Among Filipino Students When can we consider that one is proficient in English? What skills must a student develop to become one? English proficiency does not mean the ability to read the textbooks in school or order a food in a foreign restaurant. Students have to read, write, speak and comprehend English within academic settings. Learning English aims at helping students use the language effectively for real life purposes. Students need to use English to become functional in professional, academic and social settings. In the Philippines, English proficiency is found out to be declining. A recent language test result showed that the Philippines is no longer the top one English-speaking country in Asia. This brought up an alarming impact towards job-providing industries in and out of the country, and is currently driving the Department of Education to intensify the effort of providing an educational system that will improve student’s mastery in English.

However, programs and projects conducted by schools are not enough to promote the development of English language proficiency among Filipino students. Teachers have to be competitive enough in using the language to effectively teach students in becoming critical and analytical in communicating with the the use of English. Learning experiences that will help students reach the optimum level of their communicative ability must be provided. There are various ways that we could take in order to pursue the improvement of our students English language proficiency. One way is to encourage students to speak the language regularly especially within the school premises. Schools have been promoting the ‘English Speaking Campaign’ whereing students are obliged to speak in English whenever they are inside the classroom. Development always start within oneself, thus, students are encouraged to do self-study and practice to improve their skills. Interacting with native speakers of English is also highly encouraged. Watching movies in English and listening to English spoken media is also an effective way in improving English communication skills. Students nowadays are highly exposed to music and films that are using the English language.

Although it has been observed that songs of today have a lot grammatical error (or simply because of the writer’s choice to make the lyrics poetic), students tend to adopt the way native speakers deliver the language. Another helpful factor that students are being exposed to is the Internet where sources of all information the need are always in their reach. Visiting websites, reading different types of articles, and discussing topics in English help them become confident in using English. Taking those helpful ways presented above are of great help in developing the student’s proficiency in English. However, the teacher’s assistance in the classroom setting will further motivate students to pursue learning and developing their English language skills. Reference: http://bsuexegesis.wordpress.com/authors/language-education/pursuing-english-language-proficiency-among-filipino-students/

Achieving Higher English Proficiency Level Among Secondary Students English is considered the universal language. It serves as a tool for global networks and for local identities. There is a need to achieve higher English proficiency level among students in order to meet the demands of time and to totally gear them up for global competitiveness. This is the reason why our educational system is taking the lead to uplift the level of proficiency of our students in English.

Sad to say that for the last four years, the results of the National Achievement Test showed that there was low performance in English among high school students. It was obvious that English proficiency level of our students is deteriorating. Most of the students have difficulties on using the language both in oral and written. They have found having low mastery level in English. Many factors are found to be the reasons why the students have such performance particularly in their English subject. One is the exposure of students in the use of the language. After learning the structure and all the important aspects of it, there is no application they are not using what they have learned when they go out of their classes. Even in watching television program they prefer programs in Filipino or translated in Filipino. Second, teachers of other subjects who supposed to use English as medium of instruction are using the first language. Third, some of the teachers handling English subject have also an average English proficiency level. Teachers failed to expose students in more encouraging activities which could develop their confidence in the use of the second language.

The Department of Education is trying its very best to find ways in order to solve those problems. It has conducted programs and projects which could lessen the problems on English proficiency among Filipino students. The department put the low performing schools in English under the Project Turning Around. This is part of the Department’s task to raise the low performances of the schools specifically in English proficiency. There was the conduct of intensive intervention programs. The program includes teacher trainings, school administrator capability building and improvement of student nutritional status as well as school physical facilities and additional instructional materials. A Whole School Approach to Master Reading and Writing was also launched.

It is a model that considers the whole school as learning community where reading and writing as tools for life long learning. It strengthened to effect the desired changes in students’ performance in terms of improved comprehension and communication skills both oral and written language. The Department also continuously delves into better ways of organizing and delivering the curriculum. It continues to provide programs in enhancing students’ English proficiency level. Still the teachers of English play an important role to finally achieved the highest level of English proficiency among our secondary students. It is on the teachers’ hands where students could embrace the challenges ahead of them as they compete globally. Bill to teach students to be more proficient in English

A lawmaker is pushing for the passage of a bill teaching Filipino students to be more proficient in the English language allowing them more opportunities to get better jobs here and abroad.

“Without English language proficiency, without the ability to communicate in the world of economic enterprise, it is difficult for a Filipino graduate to get jobs anywhere in the country and anywhere in the world,” said Rep. Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), author of House Bill 366.

Del Mar said the objective of the measure is to have graduates equipped with English proficiency and have the ability to communicate in a simple, clear and descriptive manner.

“This simply means that the teaching of English, both in written and oral form, must focus on the language or terminology of business and industries on written and oral communications commonly used in the diverse areas of trade and business, having in mind the specialization of the students,” Del Mar said.

The measure requires the use of English, Filipino or the native language as the medium of instruction (MOI) in all subjects from preschool until Grade III; and in English in all subjects from Grade IV to Grade VI and in all levels in the secondary.

Under the bill, English and Filipino shall be taught as separate subjects in elementary and secondary levels.

The measure shall also require all government examinations and entrance examinations to public schools, state colleges and universities at all levels to use English as the language of assessment.

The Department of Education (DepEd) shall formulate, develop and provide all the requirements, devices and support facilities necessary to strengthen, enhance and promote English as the medium of instruction.

The DepEd, CHED, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other concerned government agencies shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations.

Reference: http://www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=7138


It used to be that the Philippines’ biggest competitive advantage in the global job market is the proficiency of our skilled workers in the English language. This advantage, however, is fast being eroded by rising competition from other countries coupled with declining mastery of the English language by our college graduates. Recent language test results released by the IDP Education Pty. Ltd. Philippines, an accredited group that administers the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to Filipinos seeking to work and migrate abroad, showed that the Philippines is no longer the top English-speaking country in Asia. With an overall score of 6.71, Malaysia is now the No. 1 in English proficiency in Asia. The Philippines placed only second with 6.69, followed by Indonesia (5.99), India (5.79) and Thailand (5.71). This was gleaned from IELTS results in 2008, during which some 35,000 Filipinos — 70 percent of them nursing graduates applying for jobs abroad — took the language exam to evaluate their English proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. During a conference on English organized by the Centre for International Education (CIE) in Manila, Andrew King, country director of IDP Education Pty. Ltd. Philippines warned that the continuous decline in Filipinos’ English proficiency could affect the growth of the call center industry which provides thousands of jobs at home and abroad. Filipinos’ English Proficiency Dwindles

Our high English proficiency has been our ticket to the world. For decades, foreign investors have been banking on our English skills, entrusting their industries to us. Thousands of our highly skilled engineers work in the Middle East constructing bridges and developing cities. Hundreds leave the country to work in Taiwan, Canada, and Hong Kong touching lives as caregivers and domestic helpers. Thousands of our nurses fill the hospitals of America and the UK saving countless lives. Our technical skills and our grasp of the English language are a perfect match for these industries. But in recent years, our English proficiency has dwindled down. Studies done by reputable international organizations such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) report that our English skills are now a disappointment. In an article written by Karl Wilson published online by The
National, in 2008, Filipinos scored an overall mean of 6.69 for listening, writing, reading, and speaking, a very low number based on international standards. On a side note, in the same proficiency test, Malaysia scored a higher overall mean than the Philippines with 6.71. These numbers were supported by the alarmingly low digits presented by another online article written by Eunice Fernando and Sarah Azucena and published by Lanka Business Online. Fernando and Azucena writes, “official achievement tests given to graduating high school students in the 2004-2005 school year showed that only 6.59 percent could read, speak, and comprehend English well enough to enter college. Some 44.25 percent had no English skills at all.” This decline is blamed on the following: the low capacity of teachers, the usage of unchecked and error-filled textbooks, and the proliferation of non-English shows on television that leads to less exposure to the English language. How can the problem be solved? Excellence comes with a price. If we want to stop our English proficiency from further deterioration, we should invest time, money, and resources. There are government-initiated efforts meant to reverse this decline, and they seem to be successful. In the same Karl Wilson article, there was a “slight improvement” in English in low-performing secondary schools in the Philippines according to the results from the National Achievement Tests of 2007 and 2008. GMA News also reports that results from a study conducted in 2008 by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) as commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (AmCham) and the Makati Business Club (MBC) showed “improvements compared to previous studies done in 1993, 2000, and 2006. These improvements, however, still fall short of meeting international standards. There are still a lot to be done, and the Philippine government needs all the help it can get. Reference: http://planetphilippines.com/current-affairs/english-proficiency-is-key-to-landing-a-job/ http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/ph/index.pl?read=1396

Level of Performance of Students in English Proficiency
The Philippine educational setting is bilingual in nature, thus the level of performance of public high school students towards English proficiency in learning creates its possibility to be monolingual by using the considered foreign language as the standard language in teaching is impossible yet can
be proven by theoretical studies to be conducted. Many accounts of constitutional laws, studies and facts regarding this issue of using the English language in teaching academic subjects such as science and technology can well explain its effective usage in the world of language education namely: the English language proficiency public students show, the legal basis it holds, the level of performance the public high school students demonstrates, the number of the passing students every university and college exhibits and the process of publishing books and their produce. The necessity of using English as an educational language in the Philippine educational set-up does not decline learning but improves the comprehension of concepts and language. One of the most profitable justifications being laid upon to confirm the worth of the problem made holds on the English proficiency of students. In order for us to cope with the current progression being experienced by other countries, we need to learn, be familiar, and be comfortable with the language we are supposed to use to attain the same level of proficiency and literacy other countries have obtained. The terms used in teaching physics are usually defined in English, thus, making it easier for students to understand the subject matter because practically, English is being used as the medium of instruction in teaching academic subjects such as mathematics and science and technology. According to Bonifacio Sibayan (1994), “It is easy to see from the foregoing why English is the logical choice of the Philippines and other countries as the language of science and mathematics”

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