THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said that public schools nationwide continue to offer special program in foreign language to make students locally and internationally competitive.
The DepEd said the special program helps learners develop skills in listening, reading, writing, speaking, and viewing that are fundamental in acquiring communicative competence in a second foreign language.
“This program aims to enhance the ability of learners to engage in meaningful interaction in a linguistically and culturally diverse global workplace. More importantly, the special program in foreign language looks to further develop learners’ understanding and appreciation of other people’s culture,” it said.
Among the languages offered in the program are Spanish, Japanese (Nihongo), French, German and Chinese (Mandarin). Moreover, the memorandum of agreement, which will include the Korean language in the program, is set to be signed in March 2017.
The program is open to Grades 7 to 12 students who have demonstrated competence in English based on learners’ National Achievement Test (NAT) results and are capable of learning another foreign language.
There are at present 10,526 special program in foreign language students nationwide—3,531 students of which are in Spanish language classes, 3,020 in Japanese classes, 2,280 in Chinese classes, 1,112 in French classes, and 583 in German classes.
There shall be at least one class per grade level with a maximum of 35 students per class. This may vary with the enrolment and other attributes in each school.
The foreign language subject shall be allotted four hours per week as an additional subject. If offered in lieu of Technology and Livelihood Education subject, the foreign language subject shall also be allotted four hours per week or two sessions a week with 120 minutes per session.
To ensure that teachers are well equipped in teaching particular foreign language, the DepEd has partnered with Goethe Institut Philippines (German), Embassy of Spain, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation Filipinas and Instituto Cervantes (Spanish), Japan Foundation (Japanese), Confucius Institute- Angeles University Foundation (Chinese-Mandarin) and the Embassy of France in Manila to help and assist in the conduct of various capacity building activities.
In the 2017 budget, the Education department has allocated more than P35 million for the special program in foreign language —around P22 million of which is allotted for trainings, seminars, and other capacity building activities. NEIL A. ALCOBER