English in education in the Philippines: from research to policy

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As in other postcolonial settings, in the Philippines linguistic and ethnic diversity intersect with ideological concerns related to identity and the politics of nation building. Therefore, any investigation on the forms and functions of English in the Philippines will also deal with matters that are relevant in many other parts of the world. Dilemmas, controversies, uncertainties and ambivalence regarding English and its place in society and education are analogous to those observable in countless other situations. The adoption of English as the medium of instruction raises even more questions and anxieties: are local languages going to be marginalized? Is English going to be an added intellectual burden impeding the students’ learning? Under the weight of such questions, policies sometimes oscillate between promoting English or the local national language, the ideal aim being that of finding a solution where the advantages of both languages are maximized and their disadvantages minimized. In addition, even when English is adopted as a medium of instruction, which variety is best suited? Should preference continued to be accorded to ‘native-speaker’ varieties such as American English or should local varieties of the language be granted full recognition as equally valid? In this chapter I address these questions both generally and within the context of the Philippines, as discussed by the various contributors to this volume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconceptualizing English Education in a Multilingual Society
Subtitle of host publicationEnglish in the Philippines
EditorsIsabel Pefianco Martin
ISBN (Electronic)978-9811075285
ISBN (Print)978-9811075261
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameEnglish Language Education


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