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Declining Language Skills Impact Philippines

 
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1299
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:33 am    Post subject: Declining Language Skills Impact Philippines Reply with quote

Business leaders are warning that the recent decline in English language teaching standards could have a grave impact on the economy of the Philippines. The deterioration in English language proficiency is being compounded by mass exodus of linguistically skilled professionals. Some local and foreign business groups are so concerned by the drop in standards that they have started their own language centers to fill in the gaps left by a public school system that is failing to ensure that students learn English. For many years, the Philippine economy has relied upon BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) contracts which require a workforce proficient in the English language. Professor Ceferino Rodolfo at the University of Asia and the Pacific warned that the Philippines must develop a clear strategy to attract foreign investment by boosting the quality of the labor supply, particularly in the area of English-language proficiency. "The number one problem is the declining supply of English speaking graduates," said Rodolfo.

Source: ESL Magazine (www.eslmag.com) Issue 51

Ghost in Korea
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Justbecause



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in a few years there may be a boom in esl jobs in the phillipines Smile
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I predicted this 2 years ago.

Let's see if I can find that thread ...



found it - dated 8 November 2005



Quote:
Keep in mind that my experiences in Manila took place over 8 years ago, and TEFL market conditions do change, for better and for worse. In that regard, there's one interesting development I failed to mention above. A little over a decade ago, the United States was asked to leave its bases. At about the same time, the government reversed its earlier practice of using English as the L1 in Philippine school classrooms. The result of that decision in the long term may actually be good for the TEFL market.




Here's a link to the thread.
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Justbecause



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wouldn't mind teaching in the phillipines if the job was right
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1299
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Quote:
wouldn't mind teaching in the phillipines if the job was right


No chance - see the other post. There are no jobs for us in the Philippines. Our so called 'skills' are not needed there. They have Filipinos who can do the job in a much better way than us. Graduates of the University of the Philippines, La Salle Manila, Atheneo, and all the other prestige Philippine schools, and they put us to shame.

I have met Korean students, who all tell me that they prefer being taught by Filipinos compared with us. Why is that, I enquired? They explained that Filipinos have a much better understanding (more empathy) of what Korean learners need, and are able to find lessons and techniques which really elicit learning and acquisition from the Koreans. Koreans told me that most foreigners teaching in the Korean hagwons and public schools are of very poor quality, and most are not even teachers, they state. While this may seem harsh, they (the Koreans) do make a good point in shaking things up a little, and perhaps the Korean Min. of Educ. will see fit to apply higher standards for foreign native speakers who obtain contracts (in a ridiculously easy way) for Korean hagwons and public schools.

Reality check, not meant to diss things up.

Go to the Philippines on vacation, but don't waste your time/energy looking for work there. I have been there, and done that.

Ghost in Korea
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Justbecause



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if I agree with you there

I studied for three years to get a degree and before then I had to get good enough grades to get on the degree course and at times it was hard work. It seems to me that nowadays degrees are not valued enough.
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teachsab



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: interesting fact Reply with quote

Less than 15% of the applicants for call centers have sufficient English skills to be hired.
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American English pilot



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teachsab....Sorry, but the call center 'hit' rate is more like 1%.
Of all applicants, they bring in 3% to train. Of those, at the end of one month, only 1% actually make it to the 'floor'.
The English ability here has been steadily declining since 1986. Currently, less than 30% of public secondary school teachers are qualified to teach subjects in English...and the law recently changed that they MUST be taught in English!
A really bad situation here for all concerned...including MY children.
P.S. I've lived and taught here since November of 2000. There ARE teaching jobs here, but the salary is more in line with those in China. Trainers at call centers average salary is 30,000 peso's per month (44 peso=$1). There are higher paying management jobs, but difficult to get.
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teachsab



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

American English pilot wrote:
Teachsab....Sorry, but the call center 'hit' rate is more like 1%.
Of all applicants, they bring in 3% to train. Of those, at the end of one month, only 1% actually make it to the 'floor'.
The English ability here has been steadily declining since 1986. Currently, less than 30% of public secondary school teachers are qualified to teach subjects in English...and the law recently changed that they MUST be taught in English!
A really bad situation here for all concerned...including MY children.
P.S. I've lived and taught here since November of 2000. There ARE teaching jobs here, but the salary is more in line with those in China. Trainers at call centers average salary is 30,000 peso's per month (44 peso=$1). There are higher paying management jobs, but difficult to get.


Ouch, that would make it tough to afford a recruiting team. You must mean counting all resumes being emailed, all text contacts, phone inquiries, NCNS's to get to that number. I mean think that a 1000+ seat center requires 40 people a week to keep up with attrition (based upon the last center I worked at). This would mean you have to interview 4000 people a week. At 30 minutes an interview per person you are looking at 50 people required to run a recruiting shop which starts to cut into the profit. 15% is a little high though but centers will run it that high at times and raise the attrition percentage in hopes that some people will slide through to the floor and the client won't bitch.

Agreed on the steady decline on the English ability though, trying to figure out where to send my kid to school right now. International schools are too expensive and not positive on the quality of the other ones (Ateneo seems interesting and also a Chinese school with English education offered might be good). Any thoughts on your end?

I like your idea of teaching career specific English in the aviation field, I do believe there is a market for that here in the Philippines. I wouldn't mind talking to you about that sometime. I don't post enough to PM someone but you can send me an email. Yahoo account with the present username at the front.
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Sgt Killjoy



Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Posts: 438

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear these figures but they just don't make sense. My wife worked in a call center. The figures quoted are skewed severely by a couple of factors.

At one large call center company, all applicants sign in and are given a very quick phone interview. Most are rejected at this stage and then they go and visit another call center where they are rejected. This continues on as they make the rounds to as many as they can visit.

After surviving the first round, there is a group interview stage where they try to whittle down the number even more. Those that survive this stage will actually have their resume looked at and then if appropriate they will be tested.

If they pass all of the testing, they will be given an additional final interview and then hired.

At every step of the way, those that fail will apply at other call centers.

These call center rejects are counted in the rejection rates of every call center they apply to.

The upshot of this is that many applicants just don't realize their English is substandard. These rejections mean little though, a bigger problem faces the Philippines BPO industry.

My wife sat through the training class where she works and they spent several days on speaking proper English. Hah! She gave up correcting the Filipino trainer's errors. How is this a problem for the industry?

My wife worked on a contract for a major bank in the US. She was appalled because many of her co-workers would just hang up on callers if they couldn't understand what they wanted or they just gave wrong information because they couldn't understand. But the most appalling lack of service was on one particular call with someone having a problem with their account. It was beyond my wife's expertise so she handed the caller off to a supervisor. The supervisor spent about 30 seconds on the call and then released it. My wife was told, "I couldn't understand what he wanted so I released."
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American English pilot



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

teachsab-Thanks and please check your email.

Hi Sarg....your wifes experience is an unfortunately common one! I've heard horror stories about these so called trainers like you wouldn't believe. It's not surprising that your wife witnessed calls being 'ignored', etc, considering the type of training the agents receive. I have a very good friend working in a center that told me her first center had a trainer that was using yahoo IM constantly during thier classes, had a supervisor who was yelling at her in tagalog while she was on a call, other agents speaking loudly around her while on calls, also in tagalog. The cute little signs saying "English only" that are all over the place are completely ignored.
The figures that I wrote came from the local call center association. You are quite probably correct, though, that they are skewed as they are counting 'totals' and not breaking out how many 'repeat' fails are in the numbers. However, the HR and training departments of the centers HAVE to be pulling their hair out! The 70% of secondary school teachers not being proficient in English came from DEPED...I personally believe that this figure is wildly conservative, based on my own experience. Sadly, the English ability of Filipinos has (and continues) to rapidly go down hill.
P.S. I contacted my friend who is a training/quality assurance specialist. She confirmed for me the following:
Only 3 out of 10 applicants make the final cut for training. Of those 3, only 1 actually makes it to the floor. There are a variety of reasons for this including, poor English and/or accent skills, poor customer service skills and others. She also told me that at their centers in Davao and Dumaguete, these numbers are SLIGHTLY higher...but not much! Her center is currently planning on adding 10,000 seats by the end of 2008...when you do the math, I wouldn't want to be involved in recruiting for ANY amount of money! These stats come from one center (though comparable throughout her company which currently has 15,000 employees) so, I would think, accurate. Don't want to extrapolate from one company to the entire industry. However, if you check local media, you will see the same stats listed.
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Yaya



Joined: 22 Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Los Angeles (for now)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:34 am    Post subject: Re: re Reply with quote

ghost wrote:
Quote:
wouldn't mind teaching in the phillipines if the job was right


No chance - see the other post. There are no jobs for us in the Philippines. Our so called 'skills' are not needed there. They have Filipinos who can do the job in a much better way than us. Graduates of the University of the Philippines, La Salle Manila, Atheneo, and all the other prestige Philippine schools, and they put us to shame.

I have met Korean students, who all tell me that they prefer being taught by Filipinos compared with us. Why is that, I enquired? They explained that Filipinos have a much better understanding (more empathy) of what Korean learners need, and are able to find lessons and techniques which really elicit learning and acquisition from the Koreans. Koreans told me that most foreigners teaching in the Korean hagwons and public schools are of very poor quality, and most are not even teachers, they state. While this may seem harsh, they (the Koreans) do make a good point in shaking things up a little, and perhaps the Korean Min. of Educ. will see fit to apply higher standards for foreign native speakers who obtain contracts (in a ridiculously easy way) for Korean hagwons and public schools.

Reality check, not meant to diss things up.

Go to the Philippines on vacation, but don't waste your time/energy looking for work there. I have been there, and done that.

Ghost in Korea


The Koreans learning English in the Phils do not represent Koreans learning English as a whole. Filipinos who teach English come much cheaper and are probably more friendly than Western ones. In addition, I'll say Koreans who go to the Phils to learn English don't seem that serious about learning the language much as opposed to taking it easy in a warm climate country.
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JoeRomano



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a chance. Not all Koreans want Filipino teachers; many want native speakers but can't afford them. Just google " jobs philippines" and many sites will come up. Then, on those sites, find the search windows and type in: "Native ESL English Instructors wanted".

I have also seen signs in Angeles- and, in Baguio newspapers asking for native instructors.

It is not as easy to find work in RP as it would be in, say, Thailand, but it is doable. It is just that the pay is very low.

You only need one job!

I got offered several jobs while I was there. But working with/for the Koreans who expect the world ( including Americans and Filipinos) to be a colony of Korea and act Korean ( but speak English) while being paid $500-$800 a month and teaching 8 hours a day is not a bed of roses.
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Captain_Fil



Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 604
Location: California - the land of fruits and nuts

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like there will be more and more ESL teaching opportunities in the Philippines.

This is perfect!

As native-born Filipino and naturalized US citizen, the Philippines could be the ideal place for me.

I know the Philippines fairly well. I can stay with relatives. And things are so cheap there.

And I won't have to undergo extreme culture shock.

Mr. Green
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