Mabuhay!

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Message from David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities:

I am proud of the organizers of Liwanag at Dilim for exemplifying the creativity, intellectual curiosity, and hard work that characterize Bruins at their best. UCLA is a 

place where students from all walks of life and all parts of the globe have the opportunity to study dozens of languages and to immerse themselves in the long and diverse cultural heritage of the human race. Beyond the sheer joy and personal enrichment these studies can bring, they also produce UCLA graduates who are equipped with the expertise and talent they will need to succeed in a global setting. I hope that you will enjoy reading this issue and that you will give your firm support to UCLA’s efforts to give our students the world.


dutton-2Message from Dr. George Dutton, Director of UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Greetings to the readers of Liwanag at Dilim. This publication is a significant showcase for Filipino contemporary culture and language. As the Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, I am pleased to support this noteworthy contribution to the expansion of Southeast Asian culture.

“I am pleased to support this noteworthy contribution to the expansion of Southeast Asian culture.”

I am delighted at the interest and enthusiasm of Filipino/Tagalog language learners here in the United States and abroad, who are studying this important Southeast Asian language. I encourage readers to continue to support such efforts and to take advantage of the opportunities that UCLA offers for continued study of Filipino language and culture. All of you are part of the future of Southeast Asian studies and of increasing awareness of its people and culture. Your enthusiasm is critical to the continued success of Filipino/Tagalog language programs.

Best wishes,

George Dutton, Ph.D

248A Royce Hall


Greetings from Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. On behalf of the department I applaud your success in Filipino Studies. Today at the beginning of the 21st century we live in an interconnected world. Graduates of universities from almost any location in the world can converse with colleagues and other university graduates in practically any other city. They can communicate their ideas, share their hopes and joys, and understand one another. This ease of communication is due not just to technology like the Internet, but also to the widespread acceptance of shared cultural norms, such as foods, consumer goods, films, and fashions. But too often this sense of shared knowledge reaches only to those people fortunate to have attended colleges and universities. People who lack access to higher education can find themselves in another cultural environment of relatively limited horizons. In other words, there might be only a small communication gap between educated peoples from across the globe while a vast cultural chasm can separate people who live in work in the same town. In this situation language studies become more important than ever. Shared language provides one way to bridge the gaps that separate people.In the United States some 1.6 million people speak Filipino as their primary language at home. Filipino ranks 4th — behind only English (291m), Spanish (38m), and Chinese (2.8m) — among languages commonly spoken. [1] Nonetheless Filipino is not widely taught or studied in the U.S. According to the MLA (Modern Language Association), “Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education” (2009; http://www.mla.org/2009_enrollmentsurvey) Filipino does not even rank in the top 20 of languages taught. [2] Your study of Filipino, therefore, carries with it a heavy responsibility. You must accomplish what few others are attempting to do. Your studies, your translations, and your voices must provide the bridge that conveys the thoughts, that communicates the feelings, and that connects the dots that lie outside the scope of International English. Through your success in Filipino Studies you will enrich everyone, by giving new knowledge and new insights to the world.

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Pic1-220x220Message from Olga Kagan, Professor and Director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center , UCLA:

Tagalog as a Heritage Language

I published an op-ed in the LA Times on December 22, 2014 discussing the need to teach heritage languages. Some parts of this comment come from that article.
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With the rapidly changing demographics of the United States and the increasing number of speakers of languages other than English in our educational system, many students in K-16 can speak a language other than English because they grew up hearing it. The numbers of speakers of languages other than English in the United States is around 20%, almost an all-time high. California, as usual, leads the way with over 43% of residents speaking a language other than English at home. In Los Angeles that figure climbs to over 60%. Tagalog is among the most spoken languages in California and in Los Angeles.

The city of Los Angeles has a population of over 3.5 million people, where 1.5 million residents are speakers of Spanish, 90,000 speak Tagalog/Filipino, and almost 90,000 speak Korean. Additionally, there are 66,000 speakers of Armenian, 56,000 speakers of Chinese, 50,000 of Persian, and 39,000 speakers of Russian. Nevertheless while Spanish is offered at all public high schools, the other languages are taught just at a handful of schools and several, such as Tagalog and Persian are not taught at all.

Due to their exposure to language spoken at home, the children of immigrants (‘heritage speakers’) grow up hearing and speaking their parents’ language. Yet many of these students have no literacy in the language they speak. Not teaching the languages that many students may half-know, we are missing an opportunity to expand the number of Americans comfortable with other languages and cultures—a tremendous asset in today’s increasingly globalized world. There are many reasons why knowing foreign languages may come in handy. With heritage languages, there is always an additional reason: maintaining the home language helps you to remain close to your family and the community of people speaking the same language both in the United States and abroad. A student taking a Tagalog class at UCLA in 2009 wrote:

“Because of Tagalog (class), my dad and I have grown way closer and him and I can joke around in Tagalog. Language is helpful when I’m speaking to my Lola (grandmother); she is getting very old, and chooses who and what to respond to – but she always and quickly responds to me when I speak Tagalog with her. It has been great and my family & relatives in the Philippines are amused by it as well. (NHLRC 2009)

It is fortunate that this student could take the class at UCLA. How much better it would be if students who speak Tagalog at home could maintain the language by taking classes at all educational levels.

Olga Kagan, Professor and Director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center, UCLA
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Message from Dr. Barbara Gaerlan, Assistant Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at UCLA

b-gaerlan

Dr. Barbara Gaerlan

Dear students,

Congratulations on the publication of “Liwanag at Dilim.” It’s a wonderful project. I hope you have enjoyed working on it.

Our UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies is very committed to supporting Southeast Asian Studies in general, and Filipino Studies (and Filipino language teaching) in particular. We have a Natural Resource Center Consortium with the Institute for Southeast Asia Studies at UC Berkeley. Berkeley has been among the leaders in Filipino language teaching in the United States, sponsoring a summer teachers’ workshop at the University of the Philippines-Diliman last summer in which UCLA’s Dr. Nenita Domingo served as a facilitator. With limited financial resources, it is exciting that our two schools can collaborate to expand educational impact.

“it is exciting that our two schools can collaborate to expand educational impact”

Another UCLA faculty member has had his own study abroad program in Northern Luzon for several years. This summer 2016 will be the last summer for a while that Professor Stephen Acabado of the UCLA Department of Anthropology will be leading his archaelogical summer travel study program to the Ifugao rice terraces. You can read about it at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/asia/philippines-ifugao-2016. In future years he may be organizing archaelogical digs in the Bicol region of Southern Luzon. I hope some of our students will be able to participate.

Another program of our Center is the administration of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education. Several UCLA students have used these fellowships to study Filipino both at UCLA during the academic year and in the Philippines during the summer. It’s exciting that the U.S. Department of Education supports language study and teaching in this way. We are happy to be part of it.

Congratulations again and very best wishes,

Barbara S. Gaerlan, Ph.D.

Assistant Director
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
11274 Bunche Hall