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alsuave

English In Filipinos Colleges And Universities

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My wife is a college student. I've been looking through her English textbook and I'm shocked at how bad it is. It seems ridiculous to me that that's the level of English they're teaching in higher education. Especially in a country that prides itself on it's English speaking ability. It's so bad that I'm considering having her drop her English class, and have her take online classes with a native English speaking teacher.

 

We're planning on moving to Manila soon. And I hope the big, prestigious schools in Manila are better.

 

Anyway, I know there are many Filipinos who speak perfect English. Some of them speak so well that they pretty much are native English speakers. So my question is: Where do they go to school?

Edited by alsuave
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In Metro Manila - the big three universities would be UP, Ateneo and La Salle.  High school and grade school would be Ateneo, La Salle and Xavier for boys, Assumption, Miriam (formerly Maryknoll), Saint Theresa's, Poveda, ICA for girls.

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It's so bad that I'm considering having her drop her English class, and have her take online classes with a native English speaking teacher. We're planning on moving to Manila soon. And I hope the big, prestigious schools in Manila are better.
Aren't you American, so you can teach her English yourself?  :)

 

(There are bad Universities in Manila too. I haven't asked which university one of "My spies" study at, but in parts he is at Swedish 9th year ELEMENTARY school level, although he is close to MASTER exam in Manila...)

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My friends wife is just finishing her University course to be an English teacher.When she had homework to do she would write it and get my friend to check it.( He is Welsh and speaks English as good as me or any other other English person I know)He would also use google american version to spell check and grammar check it so it should have been perfect. Well she kept on getting crosses instead of ticks but when she asked her teacher what was wrong she was told "it is wrong so put it right" but no explanation as to what exactly was wrong.  I don`t think some of the teachers even know what they are doing or maybe they would work abroad. As Thomas said best to teach her yourself.

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They may speak English, But don't Understand English.

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Anyway, I know there are many Filipinos who speak perfect English. Some of them speak so well that they pretty much are native English speakers. So my question is: Where do they go to school?

 

It seems to depend if they want to speak English or not. One of my daughters is in 1st year college and the other is in 4th year high school. At school, most of their speaking is in English but when they are not in class, they do not speak English. When their friends come here, I have to insist that they speak English otherwise they won't.

I took Spanish lessons years ago and whenever I met someone from my class or someone who spoke Spanish, I always spoke Spanish to them because I wanted to learn and to practice. Here, they don't seem to care if they learn or not.

One of my daughter's friend from 4th year is going to Canada next year. She thinks that Canada is a Spanish speaking country, not English, and her mother has worked there for 10 years. But they say that they are educated.

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It seems to depend if they want to speak English or not. One of my daughters is in 1st year college and the other is in 4th year high school. At school, most of their speaking is in English but when they are not in class, they do not speak English. When their friends come here, I have to insist that they speak English otherwise they won't.

 

That's a good point. The Filipinos I know, who speak (and write) English well, also speak English among themselves. It seems like they only speak Tagalog when they have to.

 

I've also noticed that Filipinos who make an effort to learn English well are a lot more Western in their thinking and tastes. The guys I used to Crossfit with in Quezon City were very Americanized. They were obviously all Filipino, and most of them spoke in perfect unaccented American English. It was a great group we had there and one of the reasons I miss Manila.

Edited by alsuave
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I agree with teaching her yourself. If you are a native English speaker from America then she should be learning from you every day in normal conversations and if she is really interested in learning English she should be asking you questions like my wife does. My wife learned almost no English at school because she had to work in the mountains and didn't get to go to school much and no one in her family or community spoke English. My wife speaks English very well because she wanted to learn and I was and still am happy to teach her. And, she doesn't watch TV programs or movies that are in Tagalog or any other non-English language. She only watches TV if its in English. Just this fact alone tells you if a person really wants to learn English.

 

Recently one of my wife's cousins who just graduated from high school lived with us for 8 months. She went to one of the better high schools in the city, she was able to attend school almost every day and she was an honor student. She couldn't understand our conversations and in 8 months she only said five things, good morning, good afternoon, yes, no, and thank you. She is an honor school graduate but can't understand or speak English. When we watched TV she would fall asleep because she couldn't understand anything they were saying. And, if we left her in the living room alone she would change the TV to a Tagalog channel. She has no interest in learning English but she hopes to marry an American who she recently started chatting with. Last week he told her, "shouldn't we be having conversations sometimes?  You only say, how are you? god bless and good nite. I don't expect it to last much longer before he gives up.

 

To answer your question, a person cannot teacher correct English if they don't know correct English. An easy way to know if a teacher would be good to teach your wife correct English would be to have a private meeting with the teacher with only you and your wife present. If the teacher speaks to both of you in English then she or he may be a good English teacher, but if the teacher speaks most in another language then forget about that teacher. If the teacher doesn't speak in English then she is not thinking in English and she should know its rude not to speak in English since to are in the meeting. In my opinion you would be justifiable to get up and walk out.

 

You can't teach what you don't know.

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I get what you're saying. And I can certainly help her. And she helps herself a lot too, though sometimes I have to encourage her to look stuff up in a dictionary or thesaurus instead of just asking me. But I do the same to her with Tagalog, so it's all good. Anyway, what worries me is that if the English instruction is so bad, how do I know that the rest of what she is learning isn't total crap too? She studies Hospitality Management and I don't think that's very difficult to teach. Then again, the service industry in the PI kind of sucks, so I do worry.

Edited by alsuave

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I've also observed that many of the better English-speaking Filipinos I've met have either traveled a bit, or worked abroad (OFWs), perhaps learning by immersion.  If that's the case, maybe there's still hope for me learning Ilongo here???  

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