English as a Second Language Courses in Philippines

About English as a Second Language Courses in Philippines

Are you an international student looking to pursue English courses as part of a study abroad program—a unique program that allows you to combine a great education with an incredible cultural experience?  Have you considered choosing the Philippines as a potential study abroad destination?  The Philippines is a great place in which to pursue courses in English as a Second Language, otherwise known as ESL courses.  A product of its previous colonization, English is still widely used in the Philippines, and is the official language for all official business of the government, including education.
An island country in South East Asia, the Philippines has an education system that is growing by leaps and bounds every year, with students now performing at an all-time high.  The National Statistics Office reports a simple literacy rate in the Philippines of 93.4% and a functional literacy rate of 86.1% as of 2012.  These numbers are substantially more positive than those reported only a decade earlier.  Literacy is about equal for males and females.
In the Philippines, several government agencies are involved with education. The Department of Education covers elementary, secondary, and all non-formal education, while the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) administers the post-secondary middle-level education training and development.  The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) supervises the college and graduate academic programs and degrees, and regulates standards in higher education. Public universities within the country are all non-sectarian entities, and are further classified as State University and Colleges (SUC) or Local Colleges and Universities (LCU).  SUCs are funded by the national government as determined by the Philippine Congress, while LCUs are funded by local government programs.  The University of the Philippines is the national university of the Philippines, and is also the country’s largest institution of higher learning.
English as a Second Language Education in the Philippines
In addition to the University of the Philippines, there are several other colleges and universities, both national and local, now offering English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for students whose first language is something other than English.  The collective goal of these programs is to elevate the level of English speaking and comprehension within higher education and prepare students to compete professionally in the increasingly-global economy.
Students who decide to pursue English as a Second Language courses in the Philippines take classes that are instructed by highly-trained teachers with university-level credentials in the field of second-language learning.  The content of that coursework varies from one institution to the next, but generally covers three main areas of language:  phonetics, grammar and vocabulary.
Phonetics is the study of how words are formed, and teaches students how to recognize certain patterns to increase their understanding. 
The English grammar portion of the coursework helps students grasp certain grammatical concepts such as verb tense, aspect and mood, as well as the function of auxiliary verbs and written punctuation.
English vocabulary is the study of word meanings.These courses teach students how to spell English words and better understand their usage. Teachers assist students in understanding a variety of vocabulary-related concepts such as phrasal verbs, the use of prepositions, and word formation, and teach them to differentiate between proper English vocabulary and idiomatic slang.
Why Study Abroad in the Philippines
The Philippines is certainly not your average study abroad destination.  Compared to places like Europe and the United States, the country is very exotic and tropical and offers countless unique things to do and see when not busy studying in the classroom.  Students are introduced to a new language and culture, helping them to gain a broader global perspective, not just academically but culturally as well.
As for the reasons to choose the Philippines as your study abroad destination, there are far too many to count, but tops among the list are:
The Landscapes

The Philippines is an archipelago with a diversity of natural formations that include spectacular plant and animal life, majestic volcanoes, waterfalls, lakes, and caves. Everything you can imagine as a nature lover is united in the islands of the Philippines, with each new location offering something more beautiful to see.  Sightseers can take a trip to the Ifugao Rice terraces, go trekking up the breathtaking Mt. Pinatubo volcano, explore the old caves of the Visayan Region or dive to the deepest spots of the Philippines and discover old ship wrecks in the Subic Bay. If you plan your trip carefully, you can also include a tour of the Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol, where guides will explain the history of the region of how it got its name.

The Cuisine

If you like Asian food as a rule, you’re simply going to love the scrumptious gastronomy of the Philippines.  Filipino cuisine is very similar to that of the Chinese and Japanese, but the spices and cooking methods used make it truly their own. Food is an important part of the Filipino culture, and one of the aspects that bring friends and families together.  Here you’ll find traditional specialties such as Balut, a cooked egg that still includes the underdeveloped chick within, and barbeque sticks of chicken and pork.  It sounds a bit strange and exotic, but one taste and you’re sure to be hooked.  Other favorites include Pancit, a noodle dishes with veggies and meat; Sinigang, a sour soup loaded with local ingredients and spices; and Adobo, beef, pork or chicken cooked with soy sauce and special seasoning.

The People

The Filipino people are some of the friendliest in the world.  They share a culture that borrows elements from their former colonizers, the Spanish and the Americans, as well as the indigenous people who have called the islands home for hundreds of years.  A fairly religious people, Filipinos are constantly throwing parties and festivals, using any occasion as an excuse to get together, to laugh, eat and to share stories; and they love welcoming new people into their fold and introducing them to the Filipino way of life.

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