Has it ever occurred to you why Filipinos speak English well whereas natives of other Asian countries struggle with the English language? Come to think of it, Japanese men and women seek Filipino tutors, whether it’s online or offline. Koreans have to go the Philippines to study English, and thanks to that, tourism and the economy in the Philippines blossomed, with Koreans flying in and out of the country, and buildings constructed and rooms set up to accommodate the Koreans’ need to study English in the Philippines. As it turned out, many Filipinos are able to not only expand their network of friends but to find work as tutors to these Koreans.
Actually, why Filipinos have the ability to speak English rather fluently is because of their American influences. For a time, the Philippines was under American rule, and so the Filipino people are able to learn the English language by heart.
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Not only that, in many schools, English is used as the medium of instruction. This has, in fact, elicited controversies since English is not at all the national language of the country. Needless to say, English subjects are being taught in schools across the nation. In grade school, kids are taught the American Alphabet, and how to read English as well. Grammar and correct sentence structure are emphasized early on. The highly advanced schools have speech laboratories which provide an ideal environment for students to practice speaking well, especially in public. With these kinds of training alone, it isn’t surprising to find most Filipinos becoming good communicators and writers of the English language.
It doesn’t end there. In many homes in the Philippines, the use of the English language is encouraged. In the middle and upper classes of society, the parents often talk to their children in English, and the children respond in English as well. Even caretakers of these children have to speak in English.
English movies and TV shows have also become a learning ground for Filipinos to learn English. It’s not so bad to sit in front of the “idiot box” after all when you think about it. Quite interestingly, children who are glued to cartoon or animated shows day in and day out are able to speak better English (with American accent) than those who are not. Now, I’m not saying I am encouraging watching TV. I am merely pointing out the fact that watching TV is also an educational experience if not abused.
This ability of the Filipinos to speak English gives them an edge over their Asian counterparts when it comes to finding and landing jobs in English-speaking countries. Filipino workers are highly favored and in-demand abroad because foreign employers deem communication skills as important, and they know that with Filipino workers, they will not have any major difficulty understanding one another.
But you know, the reasons why Filipinos speak English well become immaterial because what’s really important anyway is that they do, and that they possess far greater qualities than the ability to speak the English language.