Filipino or English

I am posting one of the topics in our Socio-Cultural subject and that is the issue whether knowledge in English makes us competitive and it is just right to set aside our native language for this particular pursuit to globalization.
And my take on this is....

Filipinos have been regarded as one of the few nationalities who can fluently speak English thus, the emergence of the call center industry in the country. I believe that such impression about Filipinos can be attributed on how students are molded in school since most schools in the Philippines use English as a medium of instruction. Based on an informal survey from colleagues, 4 out of 5 agreed that being able to speak in English definitely makes one globally competitive because you can communicate effectively with other English speakers. On the other hand, this should not be the reason to disregard our native tongue --- Filipino. In fact, DepEd has implemented the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) where in students in 16 regions learn in school by using their local dialect. Indeed, mastery of English is needed to be more competitive in this era of globalization. However, research findings pointed out that greater mastery in English or Filipino can be attained most effectively by using the mother tongue as a means of instruction. Consequently, in the 1970’s “bilingual education” dominated our system of education because of the continuous debate as to whether English or Filipino be used as a means of instruction. And one of the justifications for introducing this “bilingual education” is that “English for access in economic opportunities and Filipino for the search of our identity”. Hence, I believe that yes, mastery of English can truly make us competitive globally but at the same time equal knowledge of our mother tongue should be innate in each one of us since it marks our unique identity as natives of this country.


Lee, H.G. & Suryadinata, L., Eds. (2007). Language, nation and development in Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore.


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