“¡Hola! Me llamo Kristine. ¿Como te llamas?”
If all goes well, Filipino high school students in a few years will be speaking the language of our forefathers—for most of them anyway.
On the sidelines of a recognition ceremony for the winners of the 2012 Metrobank Foundation Search for Outstanding Teachers on Monday, Education Secretary Armin Luistro told the Philippine Daily Inquirer his department was in the process of crafting an exchange program with Chile to allow Filipino public and private school teachers to “build up on” their competencies in the Spanish language.
In return, Luistro said, the Filipino teachers would give their Chilean counterparts a hand with English.
“These are very initial talks… we can send teachers who will help them with their English program, and (who can) get some training over there in Spanish and then come back. On the Chileans’ part, they would also send teachers here,” explained Luistro.
Although the Department of Education already has a tie-up with Spain’s Instituto Cervantes for the same purpose, the exchange program with Chile would help fill the need for more Spanish-trained teachers in basic education by 2016, when Grades 11 and 12, or senior high school, shall start to be implemented under the K to 12 program.
Included in the new curriculum, Luistro said, will be a foreign languages elective.
“(And) you know the Spanish (language) in Latin America? It’s closer to our understanding of Spanish,” he said .
Asked how many teachers would be sent to train in the Latin American country under the program, Luistro said the numbers had “not yet been firmed up.”
He also said there was still no timeline for the exchange program, but that it would be implemented as soon as possible. Luistro said there were currently 318 Spanish-trained basic education teachers in the country.