It's Time to Encourage Learning Mandarin for Filipinos!
With China as an awakened dragon in business along with Chinese-speaking states like Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong; one may see the importance of learning Mandarin. Mandarin itself has become more emergent than Nihonggo and Spanish. Now this is not a call to make the Philippines pledge allegiance to China but to encourage the learning of Mandarin aside from improvement of one's English.
Mandarin itself has been emerging in the past. I remembered I pretty much hated studying my ancestral language until I was 18 years old. The rising trend of Chinese drama like F4's Meteor Garden started a new trend. In the past, Japanese entertainment in the form of Anime was the trend. Today we have the Korean fad. Yet one cannot deny that with Chinese businessmen here and there, learning Mandarin would be a great advantage. Chinese are probably the most widespread people around the world among Asian countries.
So why would I emphasize the need for learning the Mandarin language? Learning another language helps bridge the gap between two nations. The Philippines itself has a potential to become part of Chinese investors but a language barrier is there. Filipinos may learn how to speak English (but the country needs to re-emphasize improving it), Chinese usually speak pretty bad English. It would be advantageous to learn both Mandarin and English. That way, Filipinos may be sent to China to tutor English to the Chinese people. Likewise, Chinese may soon start teaching Mandarin in the Philippines which may help in doing business.
In the past, one had to pass through Language 1, Language 2 and the ancient Phonetics. Most Mandarin classes were focused inside the classroom and in Chinese schools. However, not everyone can afford a Chinese school and others never had a background in Chinese education. It's time to try different methodologies of teaching Mandarin depending on the age and position. It would be time to encourage Mandarin as a subject for College foreign language and for further studies, in the language centers.
My proposed reforms for teaching Mandarin is to focus on conversational, removal of too much memorization and focus on learning how to speak for the academic environment. In the non-school environment for learning Mandarin, it would be important to focus on conversational and writing with a progressive course. That is, it's time to focus on learning how to read and write in Chinese, not just mere memorization but learning it by heart.