In a series of discussions and consultations, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), alongside government, academe, and industry partners, found that introducing and adopting international standards in communication is among those needing urgent action and attention. As a joint undertaking by the stakeholders, the National Roadmap for Global Competitiveness in Communication Skills (NRGCCS) Project was put together and proposed with the goal of adopting the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages as a recognized metric for communicative competitiveness.

The CEFR is an international standard that describes required competencies for communication, and comprehensively covers knowledge and skills needed to be developed to enable language learners to learn, practice, understand, and use language effectively. Utilization of the language framework leads to improvement of higher education institutions and their programs, as well as the development of empowered, future-ready graduates, able to work competitively and meaningfully in the international workforce. Countries around the world such as South America (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile), Europe (France, Italy) and Asia (Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand) are adopting the CEFR and investing significantly in the development of English language proficiency for their graduates, setting educational goals and policies, and benchmarking with other countries.

It is also worthy to note that the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation, Inc. (PACUCOA) recently launched electronic self-survey instrument (eSSI) contain its updated standards, featuring internationalization of programs in the higher level of accreditation, and outcomes on standardized English communication skills tests. This endeavor demonstrates the contribution of accreditation in helping institutions align with local and global standards.

The foregoing are welcome developments as studies show that strengthening language learning and teaching in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is crucial to more effective international communication, ensures better access to information, improves working relations, fosters deeper mutual understanding, and promotes more intensive personal interaction.

As both the eSSI and the NRGCCS are rolled out this school year, graduates from Philippine Higher Education institutions will be better prepared to join the world’s increasingly global and seamless economy.

The NGRCCS is set to be introduced and launched through the NRGCCS Orientation Workshop Series, which begins on 5 November 2020. To register for the upcoming first round of NRGCCS workshops this November and learn more about the CEFR, contact ias@ched.gov.ph or visit CHED’s Facebook account.

 

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