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English proficiency of Pinoy students, teachers lagging — survey

The level of English proficiency of College graduates from the Philippines is lower than the target English proficiency of High school students in Thailand, according to a study conducted by the Hopkins International Partners, which is the official Philippine representative to the group called Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).

In a "24 Oras report by Raffy Tima, the Hopkins International Partners' General Manager Rex Wallen said the Philippines lags behind most of its ASEAN neighbors in English proficiency.

"In ASEAN, you're at maybe ranked three, ranked four in English out of 10. But when you look at the trajectory every one else seems to be improving," Wallen told GMA News.

Warren said the level of English proficiency affects the chances of Filipinos getting jobs abroad.

"Last year, there was a nursing program cancelled where 90 percent who were already hired, they couldn't go to the UK (United Kingdom) because of English," he added.

Celeste Monge, a teacher who taught public school students for almost 12 years, noticed a decline in the capability of students to learn in English, as well as the ability of teachers to teach them in English.

"Supposed to be ang Science and Math, pure English. But I don't know what is happening. Maybe dahil bumaba rin 'yung kakayahan ng batang umintindi so the teachers tina-translate na lang nila. Hinahayaan na lang nila na magsalita ng Filipino," Monge said.

Even teachers are not proficient in English because they have been using Filipino as a medium of instruction.

The problem is being addressed by the US Embassy through a program intended to upgrade the skills of teachers so they can effectively teach English to their students.

"I think it's very crucial that they use as much of the target language as possible in their teachings so that's one of the topics I'm gonna talk about, as well," said Dr. Donna Brinnon, one of the lecturers.

More 400 teachers from Metro Manila and Balanga in Bataan have undergone the program, the report added.