Fil-Ams learn Filipino language while growing roots in motherland | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Every year, the Advanced Filipino Abroad Program (Afap) hosts Filipino-American students to learn the Filipino language in Philippine setting.

Through a unique short-term immersion program for at least two months, Afap is a structured academic program of four hours every morning and 2-3 hours of task-based language use in the afternoon.

This year, on its 20th year, the program was cosponsored by the Filipino Department of Ateneo de Manila University. Afap is funded by the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program since 1991.

A consortium of six universities supports this program: Cornell University, University of Hawaii, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of California at Berkeley and University of Washington.

The partnership of Ateneo with other universities in the US promotes cooperation between the United States and the Philippines and stimulates discussions among scholars, providing potential researchers an opportunity to see their chosen area first-hand, and to select appropriate research sites and introductory contacts.

This year’s participants include Karen Ames from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jordan Camille Bautista from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sony Bolton from University of Michigan, Maharaj S. Desai of San Francisco State University, Dinna Gonzales of UCLA, Edward Gutierrez from University of Washington,  Katherine Jumalon from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Marivic Lesho of Ohio State University, Vanessa Sanchez of Bryn Mawr College, Philip Cezar Sarmiento and Ritchilda Yasana from University of Hawaii at Manoa and Bryan Ziadie of UC Riverside.

Afap has been spearheaded by Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo and Teresita V. Ramos from University of Hawaii-Manoa for almost 10 years now. Poet-teacher Michael M. Coroza of Ateneo joined them this year.

Instructors include Ana Trisha Monica D. Osorio,  Yolando B. Jamendang Jr. and  Richard de Guzman. Together, they designed intensive and specialized instruction in Filipino (Tagalog), enabling participants to attain a high level of language competence.

They also designed a body of pedagogical materials for intensive language-study abroad programs and field-test proficiency examinations in Filipino.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte of Quezon City gave an inspirational speech during the graduation ceremony.

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