For this year, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) continues to offer training on foreign language courses -- and they are for free. Lessons in the English language, Japanese (Nihongo), Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Spanish are available in TESDA Language Skills Institutes, according to TESDA Director General Irene Isaac. The language courses come with the study of the culture of the foreign nations that make it a holistic learning experience, she said. Isaac urged workers and job applicants to avail of the opportunity to learn a new language. She said the course could also be a worthwhile activity to spend the summer break of students. “Graduates and workers with foreign language skills will have a better chance of getting hired or getting promoted,” she said. According to the TESDA chief, businesses are essentially about communication – from acquiring and retaining customers, to improving workers engagement and performance. “Employees or applicants who have the extra communication skills will always have the edge,” she said. The language courses will have a duration of 100 hours each, except for the course on Japanese Language and Culture, which will take 150 hours. The courses are offered to individuals 18 years of age and above, who are high school graduates. There will be morning and afternoon sessions from Monday to Friday. “With this language training courses, we hope to help the Filipino students and workers achieve world-class standard,” Isaac said. “Everywhere they go, if they know and understand the language and culture of that country, they will survive,” she added. More information on the requirements and training schedules are available here: http://www.tesda.gov.ph/about/tesda/39.