PH ‘budget English teacher’ of the world

The world’s “budget English teacher.”

This was how a recent BBC News report described the Philippines in highlighting the relatively cheap access to education in the country compared to other English-speaking nations.

The report, written by Kate McGeown and posted online Monday, noted the surge in the number of foreign students attracted by the country’s competitive rates for English education, which cost only a fraction of the tuition in schools in the United States or Canada.

Aside from language students, the number of foreign graduate and postgraduate students in the country are reportedly on the rise, apparently recognizing that local universities are on par with global standards.

A check with the Bureau of Immigration Student Desk indicated that as of October 2012, a total of 24,680 foreigners had applied for study permits, which was more than thrice the applications in 2008, totaling 7,569.

The agency also expects the applications for full student visas to reach at least 23,000 by the end of the year, which is over four times the 2008 figure of 5,336 applications.

A major advantage for Filipinos is having a clear American accent, the report said, “partly because the Philippines was a US colony for five decades and partly because so many people here have spent time working in call centers that cater to a US market.”

But studying in the Philippines presents some challenges to students, the report pointed out. “Living here means coping with the bureaucracy and corruption, and if you’re in Manila, the heavy pollution,” it said.

Moreover, foreigners may find it difficult to understand Taglish, a mix of Tagalog and English, which Filipinos use in informal communication.

“But for an increasing number of people, these are small obstacles compared with the benefits of studying in the Philippines,” the report added.

This is not the first time the country was recognized for its English proficiency.

On April, the Philippines topped 75 other countries in the Business English Index 2012 prepared by the GlobalEnglish Corp., a California-based company that aims to advance business English among global organizations.

Only the Philippines attained a score above 7.0, a “level within range of a high proficiency that indicates an ability to take an active role in business discussions and perform relatively complex tasks,” GlobalEnglish said in its release.

The Philippines is joined in the top five by Norway (6.54), Estonia (6.45), Serbia (6.38) and Slovenia (6.19).

Noting that a country’s business English capability was an indicator of its economic growth and business success, GlobalEnglish said that “it is not surprising that both the Philippines and Norway—the only two countries in the top five in both 2011 and 2012—are improving their economies, based on the latest GDP data from the World Bank.” Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research

Originally posted: 9:31 pm | Monday, November 12th, 2012

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://twitter.com/ICAL_TEFL ICAL TEFL

    So English teaching has now been equated with tins of baked beans. Whoever offers the best price gets the sale.

    It is unfortunate. The teachers in PH may well be brilliant, but in the end that doesn’t matter; it’s price. And because the price is low this means that the teachers’ salaries are low. Because the salaries are low, the best teachers will not bother applying to work here.

    And so on. The net result? Standards decline in teaching. 

    Quite simply, when teachers are paid decent salaries then conditions will get better and teaching will improve.

    • Filpino

      ow gahaman ka lang. we all know that teachers who teaches on foreign students get higher pays than teachers who teaches fellow pinoys. Even if they are enrolled in our university here, they also attend special course in English language that caters to foreign students. And that where the Pinoy teacher get high pay.

  • w33k3nd3r

    You really just can’t complain much if you say’s it ‘budget’ English teaching.

    • Iggy Ramirez

      Haha. Exactly. Just like when you can’t complain about a hotel not being fancy if you’re booked in a budget hotel.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYYFBINDMTZHM6TDHPB667452M agustin

    this is good news, foreign  students are considered as long time tourists in our country and they contribute stable peso and money circulation increased. this is a good improvements to our economy. thanks to our English education.

  • nuetraliser

    talking about ENGLISH…. huh ! i wish Spanish sana ang mother tongue natin anyway English naman ang second language nating mga pinoy…… bright gyud kaayo mga pinoy….. hehehehe

  • expatparin ramos

    24 thousand foreign students and everyone is gung ho about it. Get real, such numbers is peanuts compared to foreign students in other english speaking countries. What I mean is that the issue is not newsworthy. Its ordinary fare. I always have 2 or 3 foreign classmates back in the university days.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/67MNKU7JSBV35RO7ROKB6G64JI fishy_jojo

    just reading some of the comments has reinforced my belief that our proficiency in english is deteriorating.
    we need better training for english teaching and exposure to native speakers of english.

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