The Division of Youth Services, under the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, is excited to partner with the Youth Affairs Office on an online Chamorro learning resource called the Ketungu’ Chamorro Project, which is available at www.mycnmi.com.
Children who avail of the Youth Affairs Office’s youth centers throughout the CNMI would be exposed to episodes of videos teaching the Chamorro language twice a week, or eight times a month.
Videos can improve learning and retention. It is estimated that a minute of online video equates to approximately 1.8 million written words.
DYS administrator Vivian Sablan recognizes the use of videos as a tool that would complement the learning that children are having at home from their parents, and from school, where they have bilingual classes.
“The kids will be benefiting from this program,” Sablan said. “The show is actually very visual. There are a lot of visual learners, and they are going to be excited because it’s not just reading and writing. It’s actual.”
Sablan adds that the youth being able to learn the language is very important because it is a symbol of one’s identity. “Identity identifies who you are, where you come from, what you are. So with all these reinforcements, and all the programs supplementing each other, I think we can help the children and families bring [the language] back.”
In early September, the Indigenous Affairs Office loaned laptops to the Division of Youth Services and the Youth Affairs Office to facilitate the Ketungu’ Chamorro Project.