Heritage Language Programs - Ilokano

Ilokano at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa/Languages, Linguistics, and Literature/Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures

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Address: 255 Spalding Hall, 2540 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822

Telephone: (808) 956-8405

Fax: (808) 956-5978

Web address: www.hawaii.edu/hipll/

Contact Person: Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, Coordinator

Email: aurelioa@hawaii.edu

Type of institution: Research University

Languages/dialects taught: Ilokano

Courses: 21 language and content courses

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: The program was established to respond to the community’s need for Ilokano trained professionals in the areas of health, social services, legal services, education, and commerce.

Type of program: A heritage track within a foreign language program


Countries of origin: the Philippines, the United States

Age of students: 18 and above

How the program identifies heritage speakers: home language survey

How the program determines the language background and language proficiency of students: placement examination including oral interview


Number of faculty in the program: 5

Languages in which faculty members are proficient: English, Filipino, Ilokano

Proficiency level: Superior

Credentials: M.A. and Ph.D.

Professional development opportunities faculty members need: Junior faculty needs doctoral degrees


Student grouping: Students are grouped according to proficiency level in Ilokano.

Language skills

Skills developed by the program:
• Listening
• Speaking
• Reading
• Writing

Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program: Near-native proficiency


Aspects of culture taught:
• History
• Festivals
• Customs
• Traditions/beliefs
• Religion
• Folktales
• Arts/crafts
• Dances
• Songs
• Rhymes
• Social/cultural norms
• Cultural appropriateness
• Literature

Content courses offered for heritage speakers: Literature and culture

Kind of student identity fostered by program: Multi-ethnic identity


Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program:
• Language labs
• Lectures
• Demonstrations
• Drama
• Festivals


Materials used for instruction:
• Textbooks
• Selected readings
• Computers

Technology used for instruction:
• Email
• Electronic Discussion Boards
• Chat sessions
• Telephone
• CD


Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress:
• Weekly quizzes
• Chapter tests
• Midterm tests
• Final exams

Connections: Local high schools (Farrington High School)

Opportunities for using the heritage language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program: Students have many opportunities to use the heritage language in the community because Hawai’i has the largest number of Ilokano immigrants in the U.S.

How the program promotes involvement with the local heritage community: Cultural festivals

What the program has in place

Types of financial support the program receives:
• Institutional support
• Support from ethnic/cultural organizations
• Support from the government of the Philippines

Special challenges

Challenges the program has experienced: Securing funding has been a challenge because Ilokano is not considered to a national language and therefore does not qualify for federal support.

Insights: There is the need to continue redefining and revisiting the notion of heritage language in the U.S. The exclusion inherent in the concept of “national language” is of a politically-charged nature and privileges some languages while marginalizing others

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