A Pioneer in the ESL Industry
During the late 90s, Baguio opened its arms once more to a new wave of students, this time, from overseas, for English.
Before the proliferation of what are popularly known as “ESL Academies”, English was more commonly taught in the prominent universities in Manila. The main students of these English courses then were missionaries from South Korea. However, teaching the language on a one-on-one class setup was not yet a trend then. As they lingered in the Philippines for this purpose, they eventually discovered that having one-on-one classes is more effective than learning in group classes. Some English tutorial schools or centers were established in Manila then, pioneered by the missionaries from South Korea.
Not long after they opened tutorial centers in Manila, the missionaries from South Korea discovered and explored the northern part of the country and eventually reached Baguio City. It was at this point that they saw the potential of the city not only for missionary activities but also for ESL academies.
ESL academies during these times were not yet boarding schools as they are most commonly known for nowadays. Although most were simple tutorial centers, some of the pioneers of ESL in Baguio started out by organizing summer camps for small groups of students from South Korea. From these seasonal summer camps, the academies grew larger in scale and were able to transform their institutions into boarding schools and cater to students all year round.
It was after the boom of the ESL industry in Baguio that Cebu became one of the options of foreign students for learning English.
As the years passed, the Philippines has gained more and more recognition for providing quality ESL education not only in Asia but to other parts of the world as well. Apart from South Koreans, ESL academies are now home to students from Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
Baguio has transformed into a hotspot for learning English because its teachers are molded to master the language and are trained to specifically educate ESL learners of different nationalities. Despite their not being native speakers, these teachers are always given venues and support to improve their skills as well as to ensure quality education to students.