A message from the CCLHS Program director


Jonas Barcinas

Hafa adai yan tirow!

I am very grateful and proud of the result of the UOG Chamorro Language Competition that took place recently in Guam. Our CNMI Public School System- Chamorro & Carolinian Language & Heritage Studies students from 16 schools traveled to Guam for an opportunity of a lifetime, especially the students who have never traveled out of CNMI. The learning from this experience will hopefully help our students understand the value of speaking their mother tongue and I am also hopeful that they will continue to appreciate, value, practice, and promote their indigenous languages both in Chamorro and Carolinian. This is one way that the CCLHS Program fosters and promotes the revitalization of our indigenous languages with our young children.

Now that we are free from the pandemic, our students and teachers are able to spend quality time practicing and preparing for this annual competition. This is where students compete in different categories and divisions. Students competed in Drawing-(K-12), Essay-(K-12), Oratorical-(9-12), Poetry Recitation-(6-12), Proficiency-(HS), Storytelling-(K-5), Male/Female Singer-(MS/HS), Kantan Chamorrita Style of Singing-(9-12), Song with Dance (9-12), Dramatic Interpretation (9-12), Children’s Choir (ES/MS), Chant-(9-12).

The performances of all the students are also a great reflection and alignment with what the teachers are teaching them in the classroom. The students felt confident standing in front of a large audience and presenting their pieces. Their experiences bring in the skills of public speaking, communication, and good sportsmanship.

Our CCLHS/Immersion teachers did an awesome job teaching and coaching their students in preparation for the event. I salute our parents and administrators for their utmost support. To the PSS Central Office, thank you for the financial assistance and support to the schools to make this learning experience for the participants memorable.

As a parent, I take pride in exposing our two children to this experience. We also engage them in the PSS Primary Grade Forensics Competition so they can be familiar with and appreciate our mother tongue. It is so rewarding to witness them reading and speaking our native Chamorro language with the local accent. Now they understand our native language and they continue to ask so many questions on how to say words or phrases from English to Chamorro. They listen to Chamorro songs or sing simple, old songs that I learned when I was in grade school on Rota. We hope that through their CCLHS classes, the UOG competition, PGFC, and community activities, they will keep advancing themselves to speak our indigenous language.

Jonas M. Barcinas, M.Ed., is the director of the CNMI Public School System’s Chamorro & Carolinian Language & Heritage Studies program.

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