Is English Still the Filipinoa[euro][TM]s Edge? Only 3 of 10 Pinoys Can Speak English

Manila Bulletin, April 19, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Is English Still the Filipinoa[euro][TM]s Edge? Only 3 of 10 Pinoys Can Speak English


Byline: ELLALYN B. DE VERA

Most Filipinosa self-assessed proficiency in the English language has declined in the last 12 years.

This was according to the first quarter nationwide Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted among 1,200 respondents from March 8 to 14.

The survey showed a decline in all aspects of English language proficiency, most notably on the ability to speak English, compared with the December 1993 and September 2000 survey results.

The survey was divided into six categories. These are: Understands spoken English; Reads English; Writes English; Speaks English; Thinks in English; and Not competent in any way when it comes to English language.

Sixty-five percent or two-thirds of Filipino adults said they understand spoken English in the March 2006 survey, while there were 77 percent in September 2000, and 74 percent in the December 1993 surveys.

Another 65 percent say they read English; about half (48 percent) say they write English; about a third (32 percent) say they speak English; a fourth (27 percent) say they think in English; while 14 percent say none applies.

Meanwhile, only five percent of Filipino adults said they make full use of the English language. Thirty five percent said they make fair use of the English language; 27 percent said they make partial use of the English language, 19 percent said they make almost no use of the English language, while 14 percent said they are not competent in any way when it comes to the English language.

URBAN AND RURAL AREAS

Furthermore, self-assessed proficiency in English is higher in the National Capital Region (NCR) than in other urban and rural areas; upper and lower classes; younger than older age groups; and among those with higher education.

In the September 2000 survey, 77 percent of the respondents said they understand spoken English, 76 percent said they read English, 61 percent said they write English, 54 percent speak English, 44 percent think in English, and seven percent said they are not competent.

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