Foreign language course in college pushed

(MANILA TIMES) SEN. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has pressed for the inclusion of foreign language elective courses in the higher education curriculum to make college and university graduates globally competitive.

The senator said a foreign language other than English should be offered as an elective course in all higher education institutions (HEIs) nationwide.

This will help prepare students for linguistically and culturally diverse workplaces, he said in filing Senate Bill (SB) 2341. “They would be able to connect with the world and be more globally competitive in their future workplaces,” Estrada added.

SB 2341, or the proposed “Foreign Language Education Act,” mandates the Commission on Higher Education to develop and execute a program to offer three-unit basic foreign language courses for beginners in all HEIs.

Estrada said the inclusion of foreign language courses in the higher education curriculum will only be an elective and will not replace Filipino as a core subject.

He said SB 2341 aims to continue the special program in foreign language classes being implemented by the Department of Education in public schools for students in Grades 7 to 12.

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

“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,” Estrada said. “It will expand their knowledge, experience and understanding of different cultures, aside from increasing their self-confidence.”