Special Program in Foreign Language

PASIG CITY, February 20, 2017 – To provide learners with opportunities that will make them both locally and internationally competitive, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to offer the Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL) in public secondary schools nationwide.

The SPFLhelps learners develop skills in listening, reading, writing, speaking, and viewing that are fundamental in acquiring communicative competence in a second foreign language.

This program aims to enhance the ability of learners to engage in meaningful interaction in a linguistically and culturally diverse global workplace. More importantly, the SPFL looks to further develop learners’ understanding and appreciation of other people’s culture.

Among the languages offered in the program are Spanish, Japanese (Nihongo), French, German and Chinese (Mandarin). Moreover, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which will include the Korean language in the program, is set to be signed in March 2017.

Screening process and admission

The SPFL is open to Grades 7 to 12 students who have demonstrated competence in English—based on learners’ National Achievement Test (NAT) results—and are capable of learning another foreign language.

Up to date, there are 10,526 SPFL students nationwide—3,531 students of which are in Spanish language classes, 3,020 in Japanese classes, 2,280 in Chinese classes, 1,112 in French classes, and 583 in German classes.

There shall be at least one class per grade level with a maximum of 35 students per class. Thismay vary with the enrolment and other attributes in each school.

The foreign language subject shall be allotted with four hours per week as an additional subject. If offered in lieu of Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) subject, the foreign language subject shall also be allotted with four hours per week or two sessions a week with 120 minutes per session.

Capacitating foreign language teachers

Furthermore, to ensure that teachers are well equipped in teaching particular foreign language, the DepEd has partnered with Goethe Institut Philippines (German), Embassy of Spain, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) Filipinas and Instituto Cervantes (Spanish), Japan Foundation (Japanese), Confucius Institute- Angeles University Foundation (Chinese-Mandarin), Embassy of France in Manila (French), to help and assist in the conduct of various capacity building activities.

In the 2017 DepEd budget, the Department has allocated more than P35 million to SPFL—around P22 million of which is allotted to trainings, seminars, and other capacity building activities for SPFL teachers.

The SPFL started in School Year (SY) 2009-2010.