English proficiency deteriorating in the Philippines

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Economist has the article here. This is a bit of a stark reminder to those that would claim that English has just about achieved a status as the world's second language and just needs to conquer a few more regions in order to achieve a final victory. The thing about second language proficiency in a country is that it requires a continual investment, not just a single investment in the beginning that results in a cost-free maintenance of proficiency in the language.

As for the Philippines itself, it's not necessarily a bad thing to lose a bit of English proficiency as they are also interested in knowing Spanish and Chinese as well, which makes sense considering their geographic position:

Not only are the majority of the world's Spanish countries just a single trip across the ocean away, but Taiwan is directly to the north and mainland China just a tiny bit farther away. The future of the Philippines is certainly not necessarily tied in with the English language.


Anonymous said...

They should learn English so that they can work in call centers? Is that all? In that case, why bother?

Call centers are office sweatshops. The workers in call centers are paid poorly and treated badly. Americans absolutely hate having to talk to someone in a country such as in India, where the people have poor command of English. They often cannot deal with unique scenarios nor offer solutions that are not printed in the manual.

How do call centers help raise living standards?

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