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            Tourism is important for many countries. Tourism industry welfares not only the tourists themselves but also the economy of the place they visit. The growing numbers of tourists and the scale of their expenditure has considerable effects on income, employment, government revenue and financial balance in destination areas (Sinclair and Stabler, 1997). During the 1970s, Philippine tourism boosted up and it had been growing ever since. In fact, tourist arrivals in the country grew to as much as 20% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same period last year. Many reasons underpin such tourist growth – beaches, wildlife, culture and heritage and food. But amongst all of these, there is one that stood out – the language.

            There are two official languages: Filipino, which is based on Tagalog, is the national language and English as the second. English is widely used as medium of instruction in higher education. It is also considered as the second official language in southern part of the country next to their dialects and native languages. The Philippines is recognized as one of the world's largest English-speaking nations as 93.5% of Filipinos can speak and understand English well. Thus, tourists won't have difficulties conversing with local folks. Realizing this matter, the Department of Tourism (DOT) undertook a tourist activity that will highlight such natural language-capability. The Philippines ESL Tour Program is a special program that integrates ESL as a part of a structured tour package while indulging in bountiful scenic views of the countryside and immersing in the local culture (DOT).  There are benefits and costs of adapting this kind of program however.

Research Questions

            The questions addressed in this study are

A)                What factors contribute to the initiation of ESL Tour Package Program? What is the nature of the program?

B)                What are the beneficial and risks/costs evidences of the program in Philippine economy?

C)                What is the significance of the ESL Program for DOT, local community and foreign students?

D)                Is the adaption of the ESL Program economically and financially feasible? Would the ESL Program improve the tourism arrivals further? 

Research Objectives

            The main objective of this study is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the ESL Program for Philippines' economy. This paper will attempt at achieving the following specific objectives:

  • To identify the causality between the ESL Program, as a tourism instrument, and economy.
  •  To explore how the ESL Program contributes to a functional tourism in Philippines.
  • To determine indicators of the effectivity of the ESL Program into the Philippine economy.


            The research design that the study will going to use is a descriptive approach. A descriptive approach intends at answering the 5 W's (what, where, when, who and why) and 1 H (how) to produce information about what is happening regarding a particular situation, (Lehner, 1998) condition, event or situation (Creswell, 1994). Other concerns of such approach are with the existing relationships and practices, continuing beliefs and practices, the causalities at-hand and trends that are in progress (Best, 1970). A phenomenological approach will also be employed for an in-depth data gathering and interpretation (Saunders, et al, 2003).  

A)    Data Sources and Collection

This study will employ different sources and types of information including (Chapter 3, pp. 27-29):

a.      Structured  and semi-structured interviews and questionnaires (formats may vary) e.g. DOT and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) personnel and past and current ESL Program participants

b.     Formal observations and surveys of the participants

c.      Archival and numerical data

d.     Document reviews

B)    Analysis Plan

The plan will used both quantitative and qualitative measures for independent and dependent variables. Responses to questions will be analyzed by means of frequency, percentage and weighted mean.



Best, J. W. (1970). Research in Education, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.


Chapter 3. Research Approach and Method. pp. 27-29.


Creswell, J. W. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousands Oaks, California: Sage.


Department of Tourism (DOT). Philippines ESL (English as a Second Language) Tour Program.


Lehner, P. N. (1998). Handbook of Ethological Methods. Cambridge University Press.


Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2003). Research Methods for Business Students, 3rd ed. London: Prentice Hall Financial Times.


Sinclair, M. T. & Stabler, M. (1997). The Economics of Tourism. Routledge.  






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