Learning English

Foreigners didn’t believe at first, but when they came to the Philippines, they were very surprised about English learning

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Language is what we use in order to vocalize our thoughts and the things we want to share to other people.  And because of globalization, the English language has dominated business transactions, and more and more non-English speakers are forced to embrace English so that they can communicate more effectively.  When it comes to learning English, there are local teachers who teach at their respective schools and there are private businesses that offer tutorials.  In addition, English learners have a choice: they can choose to learn locally, or they can travel abroad to have a better experience.  Thus, many non-English speakers flock to English speaking nations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, or the UK to improve their English more effectively.

Many foreigners, however, have overlooked one country, the Philippines.  More recently, Koreans and Japanese have chosen the Philippines as their choice destination for learning English.  More specifically, many Filipinos have noticed many Koreans in Metro Manila, Baguio, and even at the many beaches such as Puerto Galera and Boracay.  These foreigners have largely contributed to the economy of the Philippines as they not only spend money in their enrollment, thus providing income to Filipino teachers, they have also spent on different expenses such as food, travel, entertainment, and accommodation.  So why has the Philippines become so popular when it comes to learning English?

  1. English is the Philippines’ national language
    Most countries have their own language as their national language, but in the Philippines in 1973, the English language became the official national language along, of course, with Filipino or Tagalog.  English was lawfully mandated in the Constitution of the Philippines as the other national language of the Filipinos.  The present constitution, which was ratified in 1987, made Filipino and English as joint national languages of the Philippines.  Therefore, Filipinos cannot escape English, and they use it in every aspect of culture, society, business, and government.
  2. The Filipino people is an English-speaking population
    The constitution indeed made English a common language in the Philippines.  Therefore, it paved way for an English-speaking Filipino people.  The Spanish occupied the Philippines, but Spanish was slowly eroded when the United States occupied the Philippines, and by 1901, English had begun to be used in public education.  As a result, unlike in other countries,  English is introduced to Filipinos in schools early in their childhood days not only in school, but at home as well.  English has become a major part of life, culture, and lifestyle of the Filipinos.  From public vehicle drivers, sales people, janitors, to executives, company managers, almost all people in different careers and walks of life can speak and understand English.  The Philippines is in fact the third language English-speaking population in the world.
  3. The Philippines is the best in business English
    People in this beautiful island archipelago can certainly be proud of one major accomplishment:  The Philippines was recently ranked by GlobalEnglish, an international English and education provider, as the best in business English in the world.  The study conducted by GlobalEnglish surveyed and tested non-native English speaking professionals who were using English as their primary means of communication in business, and the Philippines came out on top, ahead of the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.  This doesn’t mean that the population of the Philippines is better; it simply means that the Philippines’ professionals who were not native English speakers scored higher than those from other countries.
  4. The Philippines is the leading country in the BPO industry
    Another sign that the Philippines is very good when it comes to English is that the country is currently the most popular business process outsourcing (BPO) site in the world and has beaten India, which had been best for many years until recently.  The BPO sector in the country contributed $13.3 billion in 2014 to the GDP, a dramatic rise from $1.3 billion about 10 years ago.  Clients and accounts from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia became aware of the BPO growth in the country as a result of the Filipino’s command of the English language, and many of them have relocated from India to the Philippines.  Foreigners see this as a clear sign that the Philippines is an excellent place to learn English.
  5. There are many excellent schools in the Philippines
    Universities especially like Ateneo, De La Sale University, University of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas are very good schools, and they produce good to excellent English speakers.  There are also many private schools that use English only as their medium of instruction, and as a result, their graduates are globally prepared.  Many foreigners have enrolled in Philippine universities because they can have an English immersion as they are forced to speak with their teachers and classmates in English.  Today, most schools in the Philippines have a large international student population.
  6. The Philippines is home to excellent English learning centers
    There are many English training centers in the Philippines, but the most popular one is the American Institute for English Proficiency, which has two branches, one in Makati, the Philippines’ central business district, and one in Quezon City.  What sets them apart from other English schools is that their specialists (teachers) are well-traveled, experienced, and have lived in the United States; they also have specialists who were American university graduates, campaign leaders, debaters, and managers in the United States.  Furthermore, they immerse their students in an American-style English learning experience.  According to co-founder and general manager Chris Delacruz, a political science graduate from Seattle University, The American Institute has many local and international clients from different industries, including the BPO.  Their clients include lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers, actors, office managers, entrepreneurs, and recent graduates.
  7. Inexpensive cost of education and English classes in the Philippines
    Many foreign students have discovered that taking English courses here in the Philippines is much more cost-effective than taking courses in the US, UK, Canada or Australia.  The cost of learning English in the United States could cost as much as $2,000 a month, and that doesn’t include food and accommodation.  In the Philippines, one can study at the American Institute for English Proficiency for only $1,050 in Quezon City and $1,250 in Makati, and the great thing about their enrollment cost is that it includes a comprehensive package of 40 hours of private or one-on-one classes, 80 hours of group classes, and 30-day accommodation in a condotel, and airport pick-up.  That is a definitely a dramatic difference when it comes to cost of education between the Philippines and the United States.  Add to this the cost of living in the Philippines, where one can get cheaper food, entertainment, and transportation, and foreigners can now easily choose the Philippines.
  8. Filipinos are easier to understand
    Because of the Filipinos affinity for the American culture, they can easily adopt the American accent.  Sure, many of them still have the local accent, but many say that compared to other accents, the Filipinos come closest to the American accent.  Many Filipinos who want to work in the BPO industry or call centers must learn to speak with a neutral or standardized American accent as they have to deal with American clients when handling business transactions.  There are also many Filipinos who lived in the United States and have returned to the Philippines, and they definitely have the standard or neutral American accent.
  9. Filipinos are a sincere, happy, and hospitable people
    Filipinos are known to be the people of extreme hospitality.  A lot of foreigners admire how Filipinos are well-educated, well-mannered, and always very helpful.  Thailand is known as the land of smiles, but the Philippines is known as the country of very nice and friendly people.  Wherever you go, you not only see smiles, but people willing to talk to you and help you.  In fact, there are so many OFWs, or overseas Filipino workers, and this goes to show that Filipinos are so easy to get along with anyone.  When you are in the Philippines, the Filipino people will certainly make you feel at home.
  10. The Philippines is a great tourism and travel destination.Check out this video!

Learning English in the Philippines is no longer a new discovery as we have solidified our place in English language learning.  When foreigners first learned that the Philippines offered great English language education, they couldn’t believe it.  It took just a few years for the Filipino people to show to the world that the Philippines is an excellent place to study English.

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  • Many foreigners wouldn’t think of the Philippines as a good place to study English. Little do they know that there are so many great English teachers here. Granted, there are also some teachers that are not very good. I totally believe that the teachers at The American Institute are some of the best English teachers not only in the Philippines, but throughout Asia.

    • Reggie Meriales Aiep

      Well now we’re getting a lot of recognition for speaking English very well. 🙂

  • Leah Armada-Aiep

    Most foreigners that I know told me that the chose Philippines to study English because Almost all Filipinos can speak and understand English which makes living here easier for them. Also Filipino are very patient, caring and hospitable when it comes to teaching. The cost of living is also a factor why they chose Philippines. The teachers at the American Institute are the best teachers. They thought me everything about English which I did not learn in my universities.

  • Wyn Inocentes-Aiep

    Of all the Asian countries, Filipinos have the most neutral accent which is why it is easier to understand Filipinos.

  • Wyn Inocentes-Aiep

    Of all the Asian countries, Filipinos have the most neutral accent which is why it is easier to understand Filipinos.

  • Mike Rowland-Aiep

    I have been to a few Asian countries–Singapore; Malaysia; and Hong Kong, China. Although a few of them can speak English, the Filipinos still have the clearest and most enunciated accent when it comes to speaking English. This makes the Filipinos more credible English teachers.

    • Wyn Inocentes-Aiep

      This is why we are the best!

  • Reggie Meriales Aiep

    Moreover, I like it when foreigners come here and they become surprised about the vacation destinations here in the Philippines. It really is just paradise in some places here.

    • Liz Orale Aiep

      Yes, and I’m so excited for our 10th Anniversary this coming January! Can’t wait to get into the crystal clear waters and enjoy my cocktail drink while admiring the amazing view! Agh! I can already feel it!!!! 🙂

  • Wyn Inocentes-Aiep

    In fact, Philippines is the 5th largest English speaking country in 2015

    • Reggie Meriales Aiep

      And we’re actually become more and more popular as an English speaking country as soon as 2016 rolled in

      • Wyn Inocentes-Aiep

        Competing with India which is a much bigger land area.

  • Lizzy Co Li

    Philippines is gifted with natural resources, also the characteristics of the Filipinos are very humble, always give people a good first impression and very friendly to them. These are only part of the reasons why foreigners always want to visit Philippines. To enjoy the nature and the culture, also no diffeculty on having conversation with others. We are proud to become the best English speaking country in Asia. and of course, one of the top countries with high percentage population on English speaking. All of these achievements are not only improving the image and the economy of the country, but also the opportunities of the countrymen in having a better future.

    • Liz Orale Aiep

      Yes, that ‘s very true, @lizzycoli:disqus! Also, not only are foreigners amazed in communicating with Filipinos, but also they learn to love our food and ethnic beauty and handy-crafts which they love to take home. Some of them invest so much in here, especially visiting our top vacation destinations, and from word-of-mouth, more and more people from all over the world come to the Philippines and see “what’s so special” for themselves. We’ve even had students, from almost everywhere, visiting us, if not every year, then every other year.

  • Mariju Rosales

    I have met fellow AIEP student who’s an Arab. I can say that he can now speak confidently in English and can converse effectively. AIEP has a great environment for people who want to speak in English without getting judged.

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