Program on Cebuano language, culture launched by FH-CUH

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THE Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad of the Chaminade University Hawaii (FH-CUH) has launched a six-week Cebuano Language and Culture Program headed by Dr. Eva Rose Washburn-Repollo.

In cooperation with Silliman University and the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos under Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, the program kicked off with an orientation by Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, the program evaluator, on June 17, 2022 at the Silliman Hall. Teacher participants from Apo Island joined the orientation together with Prof. Rina Hill of Silliman University.

The short-term seminar grant supports Dr. Washburn-Repollo’s research into the development of foreign language acquisition skills and helps in the advancement of culture-based teaching curriculum.

The summer program is meant to increase Hawaii’s capacity in Filipino culture-based education in K to 12 classrooms. The FH-CUH fellows are Kalika Ayin, LeAndre Browne, Brittni Friedlander, Terrius Harris, Maiana Minahal, Kauanoeanuhea Zabala-Moore, Clarisa Torres, and Jessica Watkins.

The group spent time summer in the Negros Oriental region. In Apo Island, they partnered with local K to 12 teachers of Apo Elementary School to design applicable creative products for curricular materials with partner teachers. Together with resource person Dr. Aileen Maypa, they explored fishing practices with local fishermen and learned about the mangroves and coral reef. Cebuano language materials were to be applied for K to 12 learners in natural environment venues.

The cultural and creative focus in language learning developed further with immersions in Silliman University Marine and Environment Institute with Dr. Pablina Cadiz as well as the practice of Visayan songs at Silliman College of Performing and Visual Arts with Prof. Mathilda Limbaga. Indigenous healing practices were also highlighted under the tutelage of Prof. Rochie Cagara. Dr. Katrina Roseler of Chaminade University joined the group for the integrated curriculum development.

The group also traveled to Bohol to learn more about local culture and history and to practice Cebuano language learning with local stakeholders. In Bohol, National Archives Executive Director Dr. Victorino Manalo provided lectures on the features of Philippine churches in Dauis, Baclayon and Loboc in the context of history and culture. A tour of the Bohol Bee Farm, Chocolate Hills and other significant historical sites were included in the trip.

On the fifth week, the group returned to Apo Island for peer teaching, practice and evaluation of Cebuano language skills. At the end of the program on July 21, 2022 the fellows are expected to have a final presentation in a local K to 12 classroom to be presented to all project participants and invited guests.

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