Does this viral video of Filipinos failing to pronounce English words point to an ‘educational crisis’?

Does this viral video of Filipinos failing to pronounce English words point to an ‘educational crisis’?
Michelle De Pacina
April 25, 2023
A viral video of Filipino children attempting to pronounce a set of English words has sparked an online discussion on whether it is indicative of an educational crisis in the country.
In the TikTok video uploaded on Saturday, a group of Filipinos line up and take turns guessing the correct pronunciation of 10 English words for a chance to win 100 pesos (approximately $5) per word. The set of words include: tough, vineyard, gauge, though, chassis, infamous, segue, thought, preface and league. 
The participants were left scratching their heads as they did not know how to correctly pronounce most of the words.
In a separate video, the same group of Filipinos also attempted to pronounce the words flammable, argue, vague, throughout, chipotle, obnoxious and cuisine. This time around, they were able to pronounce all but the last three words correctly.
The video was later shared on Twitter by a user who expressed concern for the country’s educational system. 
“Considering the fact that English is 1 of the 2 official languages of the [Philippines], this is really sad and very alarming. It’s either something’s really wrong with the current [Philippine] educational system, they are just too lazy to study or both,” the user tweeted
View post on X
Many viewers agreed, concluding that the younger generation lacks reading and writing skills. 
“Those words are usually used in class, regularly read in textbooks or used by teachers during lectures. Why is it as if schools are falling short?” one person wrote.  
“My line of work allows me to observe quality of Gen Z workers,” another user shared. “There really is an education crisis. I’m not kidding when I say that the comprehension, reading and writing skills of children nowadays is very alarming. It’s not hard to believe the narrative we see in this video.”
Other users wondered whether the video was scripted for entertainment value to gain views and followers.
“I don’t think this is real. It might be made in order to trend,” one person said.
“Please tell me this was done in jest and for clout,” another person tweeted
However, the tweet was also immediately met with criticism from individuals who argued that English fluency should not be used as a basis to measure the intelligence of Filipino children.
“The only reason you find this alarming is probably because you’re one of the many people who still consider English language as basis of intelligence,” one user tweeted
“To be fair, if it was me playing and they were Tagalog words, I would be wrong 99% of the time. English is difficult because there are so many conflicting phonetic rules. The kids were reading phonetically,” another user replied.
“Tweets like this sometimes make me wonder how ignorant privileged or bourgeois Filipinos are about the realities in public schools. Try to interact with them and you’ll know why,” one person said.
Along with Filipino, English is one of the country’s official national languages
In 2022, the World Bank reported that the Philippines’ rate of learning poverty was at 91%, with many being unable to read and understand age-appropriate texts by the age of 10. 
Although President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has presented a new campaign to support schools, experts say that the issue is due to wider social conditions that require long-term solutions in the development of the nation.
Share this Article
© 2024 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.