DOLE wants intensified Japanese language training for caregivers, nurses

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is pushing for intensified language training for Japan-bound nurses and caregivers to give them a better chance of passing the difficult licensure examinations there.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz cited recent reports that no foreign applicant passed last year’s exams and only 1.2 percent of foreign applicants passed.

An article on the Labor Department website said this was due to the difficulty of the examinees in understanding kanji and technical terms written in Japanese.

Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tokyo officer-in-charge and welfare officer Maria Luz Talento said the language program should focus on communication skills more than simply language skills.

Talento said that while candidate nurses and caregivers are able to speak Japanese, they have problems with oral and written communication with their co-workers and immediate superiors in their place of work.

She said the Japanese culture has a specific set of regulations and principles about the proper manner of communicating, especially within and across workplaces.

Variations in communication methods can lead to difficult interpersonal relationships with the place of work, which in most instances, result in unavoidable cross-cultural misunderstandings, she added.

Talento said an occupation-specific language and communication skills training program is necessary not just to redress conflict and prevent miscommunications, but also to obtain jobs and keep them as well.

She said a successful occupation-specific language and communication skills training program should include some form of labor market support.

This includes orientations about workplace diversity, the Japanese legal system, and Japanese workplace culture with topics on verbal and non-verbal communication, work values and expectations, and work relationship.

Meanwhile, Talento clarified reports that 18 Filipino nurses and caregivers went home after becoming discouraged by their slim prospects of passing the national examinations for their profession.

She said the OFWs returned home mainly because of personal (family) and/or health reasons.

Citing interviews made with the OFWs, she said most of them even suggested that their participation to their first examination was a “valuable learning experience for them to get a feel of the examinations.”

Talento said the OFWs did not indicate they were discouraged by their slim prospects of passing the Japanese licensure examinations. – via GMANews.TV

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