The English Language: The Problem and Its Background

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Chapter I


Adapting in the world that we are living in is a challenge for every one of us since the world is dynamic and fast changing. Our way of life as well as the things that we are using every day tends to be more complex due to the booming international progression of technology and education of which mostly English language is the medium. We are well aware that English is the most frequently used second language in the world and also the universal language that makes it a prerequisite for competing in our modern world. Academically, it is also a big challenge for our aspiring professionals to learn English and be proficient in it for the success of their career not only to their own countries but internationally. Language proficiency is commonly defined as a person’s ability to speak or perform in an acquired language. In order to evaluate an individual’s abilities, the Test of English as a Foreign Language was established by the Educational Testing Service and is administered worldwide to measure the ability of people to employ college-level English in terms of listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. ( In the article “English Proficiency is the Key to Landing a Job”, Pepper Marcelo stated that it used to be that the Philippines’ biggest competitive advantage in the global job market is the proficiency of our skilled workers in the English language. This advantage, however, is fast being eroded by rising competition from other countries coupled with declining mastery of the English language by our college graduates. ( To pull this gap, our country is trying to produce quality efficient professionals from different schools. Education Secretary Jesli Lapus noted that there was continuous improvement in the performance of students in the National Achievement Test (NAT) within the five-year analysis particularly in English subject. “We recognize English proficiency is critical in learning as other key subjects such as Science and Mathematics use English in textbooks and other reference materials,” said Lapus. This problem is getting harder due to financial difficulties. Some students are unlucky to finish their schooling. According to surveys, one out of eight Filipinos aged between six and twenty four is an out-of-school youth (OSY), according to the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of the National Statistics Office (NSO). This translates to about 16 percent of the estimated 39 million Filipinos in that age bracket, or 6.24 million people. ( According to the article “Shopping for Philippine College Scholarships”, one of the realities of life is that bright students don’t always have the money to pay for the education they need. In older times, students would simply drop out of school and work to earn the money for tuition. Nowadays, scholarships have helped ease the financial burden on financially indisposed but deserving pupils. While most learning institutions offer scholarships to and other forms of financial assistance, it’s good to have a lot of options laid out on the table. ( Being provided with financial assistance, these fortunate students were given a chance to continue and finish their studies. As scholar students, the need for them to excel and be competitive professionals is a must, especially with the mastery of the international language for them to be a proficient worker internationally. Study shows Filipino college students are not proficient in English. Graduating college students, particularly those taking up business and education courses must take note of a recent study that revealed their English language proficiency at only the level of basic working proficiency. This particular level of proficiency indicates that "the person hardly understands native English speakers, or speakers of English via international...
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