We feel native English speaking teachers in the classroom is most important when navigating and improving English skills. One on one classes are only for special needs students and should be short term and instructed by a native speaker. Local English spoken by Filipinos is at best upper beginner level. The relevance of their conversational skills has little to do with the content and active parts of speech that you find in the US, Canada, UK and other English Speaking countries.
So, why do most ESL schools in the Philippines insist in 1 on 1 courses with a Filipino “teacher?” There are several reasons in using this strategy:
- The School heads are by local law required to be a native Filipino.
- Most ESL schools in the Philippines are owned by non-English speaking owners that rely on the Filipino school head to provide and hire teachers because the owner’s English skills are less than the school head.
- By hiring at least ten Filipino employees the owners are eligible for free G9 status in terms of immigration. Meaning the owners are allowed to stay in the Philippines for free.
- Filipino’s rate of pay is far less than a Native English Speaking Instructor.
- Most often the Filipinos hired, are college nursing students or graduates that work for very little money (60 – 90 pesos per hour). In fact, in order for Filipino nurses to work in an English speaking country, they have to pass the IELTS exams with a 7 or better band score in the four English skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. So, the conclusion can be made that if a nursing student or graduate is teaching English to persons as a second language, it is inferior English the student is learning.
- Native English speaking teachers earn 250 – 400 pesos per hour, making it ineffective for owners to offer Native English 1 on 1 courses. This means no large salaries for the owners.
- Also, the Philippine education from day one of elementary school has a stronger emphasis on singing and dancing rather than relevant education and English language skills. This gives the owners a staff that is willing to sing and dance at the Christmas party and perform skits at graduation.
Given all of the above facts about 1 on 1 English with a Filipino “teacher”, who do you think is the big winner or the big loser?
Is it the Filipino “teacher”, the foreign owners who themselves are using English as a second language or the student that is paying the least amount of money for the least amount of English education?