Language as the most important key towards ASEAN community

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Language is the most important key towards the development of Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) Community, Director Connector of Singapore associated with Educational Testing Service (ETS) Jessie Cheong said in Jakarta, Thursday.

"People, especially ASEAN workers, should realize the importance of mastering English as an important tool of communication of ASEAN Community 2015 so that they will not get left behind," she said in the opening of the seminar titled ETS Leadership Seminar Series 2011: Towards a Community of Nations (ASEAN 2015) at Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta.

Jessie said there are some of ASEAN countries, like Philippines and Singapore which have such good human resources mastering English so that they got more chances to work at foreign companies or abroad.

Jessie stated the ten percent of 18,6 million of Filipinos have worked abroad because of their good English skills.

While Singapore, with English as its official language, has much more competent workers for certain, said Jessie.

The founder of Center for Professional Assessment Thailand Robert E. Woodhead also said ASEAN needs to make some standards for professional workers, especially related to their English skills.

There are three pillars of ASEAN community that will challenge its people to communicate in English, they are politic and security, social and culture, and economy, said Robert.

"In order to fulfill the three pillars of the ASEAN community, education, especially on English, is needed so that the development of ASEAN Community 2015 runs well and stable," said Robert.

Robert stated an international standard of English skill is needed so that workers, especially from ASEAN countries, will have unlimited access to work in any ASEAN country.

Robert said skill in English can be measured by Test Of English for International Communications (TOEIC) so that human resource practitioners of ASEAN country can widely open recruitment and compare one to another worker`s English skills effectively.