You see it everywhere. Big public posts reminding everyone to “please transact your business in English” or that we should “Speak English, the language of leaders.” One private school in a Central Luzon province also brags of having “English-speaking kids.” Hence, it is always timely to take a closer look at this weird and generally […]The Stupidity of “English Only” Policy in the Philippines — Tanggol Wika
I don’t have a lot to comment on this, because I believe the post already points out the issues with this kind of policy, but this type of attitude towards native languages is the primary inspiration behind the plight of Katamans in my story. I have a lot of personal experience growing up in the Philippines and attending school that “encourages” the use of English because it’s the more sophisticated language, the language of the “learned” and the rich. As a young person, you don’t realize how insidious these policies are (and I’m glad that my school wasn’t high-end enough to really enforce these rules, and we all ended up speaking in Tagalog anyway). It really messes up with the way you perceive your own culture, the way you express yourself. And you know what? When I came to Canada, the fact that I spoke some English didn’t make me better than my peers who came from other countries and had to take ESL classes. They still got better grades than me in math, science, art, etc. Because what good is an education in which you don’t understand what you’re learning? How do you develop critical thinking that way? You don’t.