EVERYBODY’S talking about it, and the majority is misinformed: They think that the Korean language curriculum will completely replace Filipino.
With the banners on nationalism and the removal of Filipino in college, it was easy to confuse and enrage the masses.
What people missed was that the Korean language will only be an elective high school and that the removal of the Filipino courses will only be in college, and not in all grade levels.
Even before the news got out, many high schools have already been offering courses in foreign language such as Japanese and Mandarin.
Furthermore, only the language, culture, and gestures might be taught to the learners – not the entire notion of embracing and living their lives as Koreans.
As a Filipino, learning another language is not anti-Filipino. It does not necessarily imply that you have neocolonial mentality either.
Language is necessary to communicate. In the era of globalization, a country cannot close its doors to others anymore.
In senior high school where one of the goals is to make its graduates employable even without a college degree, learning another language, for them, is an asset to make them more employable.
For students who aim to work outside the country to work—not necessarily to escape their own country nor to become a citizen of another, but to be able to feed and provide for their families in the Philippines—learning another language is important for them to be able to function at work better.
Schools will not be changing their perspective or perception of their homeland or their identities. It will simply allow them to become more preferable at work.
A bilingual or a polyglot can still be nationalistic.
In fact, in order to become an excellent bilingual, you also must have enough competence in your first language, in our case, Filipino, before you can “transfer” your knowledge to another, as stated by linguist Jim Cummin’s Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis.
It was never the number of languages one speaks, nor the many lands has one been.
It was how one had lived his or her life; about what he or she has spoken about the motherland and its people.
Lastly, if you will argue that learning another language would mean less love for the country, remember that even our national hero, Jose Rizal, spoke about 22 languages including Japanese, Spanish, German, and French.
Furthermore, he spent many years outside the country and received much of his education there.
Yet, he is known all over the world as someone who is truly Filipino; who was willing to die for the country and its people.