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Freeman Cebu Business

Japanese students’ arrival hints ESL sector recovery

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Fifty Japanese high school students arrived in Cebu for their ESL (English as Second Language) program.

The students from Nagoya, Japan are just the first of the many batches that will be coming to Cebu to learn English, an indication of the comeback of the ESL industry in Cebu, said Department of Tourism-Central Visayas (DOT-7) regional director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano.

With this, schools teaching ESL in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas, as well as support service providers are preparing for the return of more long-staying students who were pushed by the pandemic to return to their home countries.

The DOT Osaka and its other foreign offices in partnership with the Philippine Consulate in Nagoya are now facilitating the arrival of more students for English studies in the country.

Another group of over a hundred students from Japan are expected in Cebu within this month.

The DOT- 7 in collaboration with the DOT Office of Product and Market Development, has beefed up support for the education tourism sector.

A Master Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certification Course will be facilitated for 200 teachers from June to July this year.

The 120-hour online course equips teachers for global competitiveness with current and appropriate teaching methodologies. Graduates will be registered with the American Licensing Authority of International English Language Teaching.

The development of a framework for ESL will be started by the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the DOT this year paving the way for further growth of ESL as an education tourism product.

The Online Education Fair to be staged in December will bring education agents from all over the world and Philippine-based service providers onto a common platform. The event will provide the latter with updated and relevant information to guide promotions initiatives while allowing schools, colleges and universities offering ESL courses to showcase programs, campus facilities and out-of-classroom cultural and social immersion.

The Philippines is a global leader in English language teaching. It holds 10th place worldwide in the Test of English for International Communication, the highest in Asia.

Cebu is the preferred destination for English language learning and holds the distinction of being the ESL capital of the country. Students and their parents are attracted to the island’s quality lifestyle, reliable infrastructure and a wide array of choices for rest and relaxation.

Cebu’s 110 ESL schools and other similar institutions in the country, however, had to suspend operations in the midst of a phenomenal industry boom in 2020 as pandemic-induced lockdowns were ordered. Over 6,000 employees lost their jobs.

Central Visayas picks up where it left off with the strengthening of education tourism through industry enhancement and promotions efforts.

TESDA

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