Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In Defense of Second Languages


University of Guam
Mangilao, GU
April 26, 2015

Press Release
For immediate release

Forum on Changes to UOG General Education Curriculum
UOG Professors to Lead Community Discussion on Removal of Second-Language Requirement

Is “ENGLISH ONLY” Good Enough for the University of Guam and Our Students?

A public discussion on keeping second-language-learning requirements in the University of Guam general education curriculum will be held on Thursday, April 30, at 6 p.m., at the CLASS Lecture Hall on the UOG campus.  The event is free and open to all concerned members of the public.

Recently faculty endorsed and approved changes to the General Education curriculum at the University of Guam to remove second-language learning from the undergraduate requirements.  Learning a second language will become optional.  Until now, all students have been required to take two courses (8 credits total) in a language other than English.  Chamorro, Japanese, Tagalog, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Chuukese all are regularly offered.

The evening will include a community forum and an audience Q&A session led and moderated by UOG professors to explore the value of second-language-learning and the history of liberal arts and sciences in the university. The panel of speakers for the event include: UOG Professor of Japanese Toyoko Kang, Director for GDOE Chamorro Studies Division Ron Laguana, author of Daughters of the Island Laura Souder Betances and Kenneth Gofigan Kuper a graduate student at UH Manoa who learned Chamorro as his second language through his undergraduate courses at UOG. 

Professors from the UOG Social Work and Chamorro Studies programs will present an alternative general-education curriculum schematic that preserves the rich tradition of second-language learning in a liberal arts education while also offering an efficient and useful path for every student toward his or her chosen career focus.

Studies have shown that second-language learners perform better in school and later careers, as well as having higher life quality.  Keeping the language requirement will benefit students, promote cultural understanding, and preserve the liberal-arts tradition of a broad general foundation for competence in all areas of life.  In our ever-globalizing Asia-Pacific region, with our wealth of indigenous culture, second-language learning is necessary for students' success in school and life.

Dr. Gerhard Schwab (Social Work) and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Chamorro Studies) are co-sponsoring this evening that will help to preserve the value of our children's college educations and lay the groundwork to prepare our children for successful lives and careers beyond the academy.

Media Contact: Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Telephone:​​​ 988-7106


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