Estrada wants more foreign language elective courses

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill mandating higher education institutions in the country to offer other foreign languages other than English as an elective course to prepare students in linguistically diverse workplaces.

In filing Senate Bill No 2341, or the Foreign Language Education Act of 2023, Estrada said introducing more foreign languages to Filipino students will adequately equip them to be “21st-century learners”.

“They would be able to connect with the world and be more globally competitive in their future workplaces,” the lawmaker said.

The proposed bill mandates the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to develop and execute a program to offer three-unit basic foreign language courses for beginners in all higher education institutions.

Estrada said the measure is aimed at continuing the special program in foreign language classes currently implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) in public schools for Grades 7 to 12 students.

The program started in 2009 in select schools and only offered Spanish language but was later expanded to include Nihongo, French, German, Mandarin, and Korean.

The lawmaker however emphasized that the inclusion of foreign language courses in the higher education curriculum will only be an “elective course” and will not in any way replace Filipino as a core subject.

“This would benefit Filipino students as they will be able to communicate efficiently with other foreign nationals and will have better job opportunities in companies that require multilingual employees,” he said.

Besides giving Filipino students a competitive advantage in the workplace and raising their confidence, Estrada said foreign language courses will also broaden their knowledge, experience, and understanding of different cultures. (PNA)