(MALAYA) SEN. Jinggoy Estrada has asked the Senate Committee on Education to study the viability of his proposal to include foreign language as an elective course in higher educational institutions (HEIs) nationwide to enhance the communication skills of college graduates,
“This will make Filipino students adequately equipped to be 21sit-century learners. They would be able to connect with the world and be more globally competitive in their future workplaces,” Estrada said in filing Senate Bill No. 2341.
He said offering different foreign languages other than English as an elective course would “help prepare students to communicate efficiently with other foreign nationals” so “they can have better job opportunities in companies that require multilingual employees.”
Under Estrada’s proposed Foreign Language Education Act, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be mandated to develop and execute a program that will offer three-unit basic foreign language courses for beginners in all HEIs.
He said the inclusion of the foreign language elective course will not replace Filipino as a core subject.
Instead, the senator said his proposed measure is aimed at continuing the special program in foreign language classes presently implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) in public schools for Grades 7 to 12.
The DepEd started the special language program in 2009 in select schools. It initially offered the Spanish language but later expanded it to include French, Nihongo, German, Mandarin, and Korean.
“This (proposal) 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 added.
Aside from learning different foreign languages, Estrada the measure will also give students the change to better understand the cultures of different countries.