English Proficiency test excluded the Philippines in Asian ranking


The Philippines remain as the 5th Largest English Speaking country in the World.

Recent English proficiency test excluded the Philippines in ranking among countries with high English proficiency as the record shows that the country remains as the 5th largest English speaking country in the world.

International research and surveys such as IBM shows that the Philippines’ Universities are producing not less than 500,000 English speaking graduates each year which is vital for the continuously growing BPO industry in the country.

In 2010, the Philippines gain a new title as the number 1 in BPO country in the world surpassing India.

The Philippines’ English is mixed of American and British English which the language itself were able to grow within the archipelagic country.

According to the BPO clients in the US, the country’s English is so competitive as evidenced by the fast growing outsourcing industry. Besides, the Philippines English accents is the most preferred by the western countries because it is neutral and is more comprehendable and Filipino tongue is so flexible and so easy to adapt the western accent and make them attuned.

Tata the biggest outsourcing firm in India have opened their BPO office in the Fort Bonifacio, Philippines after they got a continuous demand from their US clients looking for Philippines English speaker to deal with their accounts.

Just recently, a small US-based private business English training and testing institution "Education First" came out with an English proficiency ranking report of 44 countries.

Of the Asian countries that were included in the report Malaysia had the highest English proficiency index (EPI) of 55.54, a "high proficiency" level, and is ranked 9th.

The exclusion of the Philippines in the ranking was mentioned as the country still able to stand with their title as the 5th largest English speaking country in the world.

For so many Filipinos traveling around the globe and 10% of their population or 9 to 10 Million Filipinos working outside the Philippines; there is no incident happened and none of their constituents fallen into a deep well because of jumping into a well with a sign “Be careful pitfalls ahead”.

For the 44 countries tested in English proficiency, Kazakhstan ranked 44th with a "very low" English proficiency EPI of 31.75.

A group of professionals in the Philippines drafting a petition for the exclusion of the professionals of the Philippines from taking any English examination which is usually conducted by the IELTS and TOEFL as a preliminary requirement for Filipinos to migrate in the other English countries like Australia, UK and USA and planned to include the Philippines to the list of the native English speaking countries.

The said petition would pass through the hole of a spike as the Philippines still suffered the discrimination from the other native English countries and OECD member countries for a poor economy in spite of very rich resources including metallic minerals, oil, gas and natures.

The Philippines’ native such as Igorot, Subano, and other lumads or aborigins of the country have the same case with the Australian’ aborigins.

According to a research, it is normal that there are some less educated locals who could not understand or speak English and those tribes or group of people are not a migrant type. In Australia, a known English native country in Oceania has the same issue with the Philippines. The Australian aboriginals could not even speak English at all.

The recent English testing methodology conducted by the “Education First” was also disclosed their full report, that there were 2,368,730 test takers that were included in the ranking except the Filipinos who were voluntarily taking the English test.

The Philippines must have to celebrate as the country still enjoys a good English speaking population, as represented by half a million English-proficient employees of the US$9 billion Dollar revenue contributor of the country for the business process outsourcing industry.

The Philippines is one of the States of the United States of America from 1898 to 1940 which official language and language of instruction used is English.

John Langford, executive vice president for the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP), said the Philippines still has a competitive edge in English proficiency primarily due to its affinity with Western cultures.

In fact, Filipinos consume a lot of foreign films and TV in English, which are not dubbed or given English subtitles. School textbooks and medium of instruction are also mostly in English except for Filipino-related subjects.

Of course, this does not necessarily mean that English proficiency is constantly good among Filipinos. As Langford said, the proficiency itself is declining relative to the growth of the BPO industry demands.

"We need to continue to partner with the government and academe to continue raising the level of English proficiency of the Filipinos in order to sustain the future growth of the industry in the Philippines," Langford said.

On the other hand, other expert says that the Filipino must not be overacting and a muted English perfectionist which triggers other Filipinos to shut-up of fear that other will correct them if they would be saying a sentence in a wrong grammar. Such Filipino attitude will make the English proficiency of the Filipinos dropping down and it would affect the country’s English proficiency.

"I advice that the Filipino must keep on talking and express their feelings in English and ignore the people who love correcting mistakes, in such manner they would be train and continue improving their English skills, as they would be more familiarized with the English terminology; later they could polished it and could make it perfect" an expert said.


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