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Taiwan News

The number of Taiwanese nationals traveling to the Philippines to study English has experienced a surge in the last five years, growing to a current 10,000 people per year, according to the Global Career Development Association (GCDA).

Wang Hsing-wei (王星威), president of the GCDA, a Taipei-based civil organization focused on developing nationals' global career potential, noted that there has been a tremendous rise in the number of nationals going to the Philippines to study English in recent years, from 1,000 people in 2012 to 10,000 in 2017.

The surge is particularly due to the close proximity of the Southeast Asian country and the relatively cheap tuition compared to other English learning programs in North America, Australia or New Zealand, Wang explained.

Taiwanese Students

The majority of English-language schools in the Philippines adopt a one-on-one teaching method with an English-only environment and long, intensive hours of teaching that range from 8 to 12 hours a day, he said.

They are predominantly located in the city of Baguio in Northern Luzon, and the city of Cebu in Central Visayas.

Wang divided the Taiwanese nationals enrolling in these English programs in the Philippines into two groups: students who are using their winter or summer vacation to brush up on their English, and professionals who have a desire to work abroad and need their English to reach a certain level of proficiency in a short amount of time.

According to Wang, South Koreans were the first to travel to the Philippines to learn English about 20 years ago.

Even with 10,000 Taiwanese nationals currently enrolled in these language programs annually, he believes that there is still room for growth, predicting an increase to 20,000 in the next five years.

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