|Posted by Eduardo Alzona on February 23, 2012 at 5:40 AM|
Filipinos Left Behind: Koreans now learning Spanish
By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) Updated November 17, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Many South Koreans are now coming to the Philippines to learn Spanish.
Jose Rodriguez, Instituto Cervantes-Manila director, said the number of South Koreans enrolled at the Spanish-language school in Manila has dramatically rose to almost 7,000 students.
“The key is economics,” he said.
“There are plenty of opportunities brought by knowing how to speak Spanish.
“Spanish is a tool for business, employment. Your chances in getting a job, and getting higher pay are greater, especially in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry.”
Rodriguez said a growing number of South Koreans are becoming aware that being able to speak Spanish would bring them opportunities.
In South Korea, as much as 13 universities have a Department of Spanish Language, he added.
Unfortunately, the Philippines, which has deep historical and cultural ties with Spain, is being left behind by other Asian countries in learning Spanish, he added.
Rodriguez said few Filipinos take and pass the DELE or Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera given out by Instituto Cervantes in May and November every year in Asia.
Among Asians, nationals of Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan lead in the study of Spanish, he added.
Instituto Cervates, the Spanish government agency tasked to promote Spanish language and culture worldwide, is in charge of administering the DELE Spanish-language examinations.
It is equivalent to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) under the International English Language System.
The Instituto Cervantes campus is located along T.M. Kalaw Street, Manila.