We live in the world of language. Language makes the world go round. Without language we can’t live in a day without using language. Whatever we do, even if we play, fight or anything language will always be present. Language is the source of knowledge, power and even life. Language distinguishes us from animals. Through language we can understand diversities in the world and we can respect every existing creature. For us to understand humanity we must know the nature of language and that makes us human.
English is known as the prestige language. Through English language we can connect with people here and outside our country. We could make our lives better just by speaking English. For the students English language could be the best tool to use in finding the career which will be suited for them inside and outside our country. For professionals it would be their greatest possession to climb higher than the position they currently are. The English language could also be the key in unlocking their difficulties in speaking, writing and listening skills. English language could bring success and honor to an individual.
The Philippines is recognized as one of the largest English – speaking nation. Filipino is the first language here in our country while English is the second language. There are 90 million Filipinos speaking in English. Only around 37,000 Filipinos speak it as a first language. However, a little over 92% of the population can speak it as a second language. It is the main language we used in commerce, law, as well as the primary medium of instruction in education.
Proficiency in the language is also one of our country’s strength. Due to our excellence in English language proficiency we helped drive our economic status by being top voice outsourcing destination in the world. We have already surpassed India in 2012. Even the foreign enrollees in our country fluxed due to affordability but quality English programs as a Second Language (ESL) being offered locally. However even if the whole country is having general excellence in English language proficiency there are still provinces wherein they are having difficulties in enhancing English proficiency.
In Northern Samar, there are varieties of dialects spoken depending upon the influence of the native speakers of their regions closer to the regions town’s location. In fact, about 91.9% of the household population speaks waray/norte samarnon while other dialects spoken in include Cebuano (2.90%), Abaknon (2.13%), Bisaya (1.78), Tagalog and Muslim (0.15%). English is the second language used for academia, communication and trade. The language of instruction used in English Discipline’s major subjects in College of Education of University of the Philippines is English. Major subjects in English are taught with consideration of the stipulated objectives in the syllabus. The crafted syllabus of the English Discipline professors is also aligned with the current curriculum. The curriculum for English majors that is being used is well crafted and well design to support students’ maximum learning experiences. While the expansion of English learning and teaching in College of Education is swiftly emerging the enduring constraint of limited financial and human resources has hindered the quality English Language Teaching (ELT) in the English majors in the College of Education.
The difficulties in learning English by students majoring in English in College of Education of University of Eastern Philippines have become visible and even more due to that Northern Samar is the third poorest country in the world. Of the six provinces in Eastern Visayas, Northern Samar is the poorest in the first semester of 2015 poverty survey, with an incidence of 61.6 percent. This means that six out of every 10 people in the province are poor. Poverty is one of the major obstacles to ELT in Northern, Samar. Poor students are demotivated and have minimal access to English education services. In Educating the Other America, Susan Neuman (2008) states that more than 50 years of research indicate that “children who are poor hear a smaller number of words with more limited syntactic complexity and fewer conversation-eliciting questions, making it difficult for them to quickly acquire new words and to discriminate among words” (p. 5). A significant body of literature also points to differences in access to reading materials by students from low-income families in comparison to their more affluent peers (Allington ; McGill-Franzen, 2008).
Motivation becomes minimal to these kinds of students. Motivation has been widely accepted by both teachers and researchers as one of the key factors that affects the rate and success of English proficiency level. Motivation provides the primary impetus to initiate learning the Second Language and enhancing English Language proficiency level. It is the driving force, without sufficient motivation, even individual with most remarkable abilities cannot accomplish long term goal. Once these happen, learning opportunities of the student will be slim and this may hinder the individual’s enhancement of English Language proficiency.
It is necessary, therefore that an investigation needs to be conducted to determine the factors associated with challenges faced by students taking up Secondary Education majoring in English.
Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between the students’ English proficiency level (i) economic status; (ii) learning motivation and attitude and (iii) learning opportunities taking up Bachelor in secondary Education Major in English