The goal is to establish the bilingual program for K-3 on September 2016
With the response to recapture the interest of learning the mother tongue, a Filipino Language Bilingual Program is slated this coming September 2016, as announced by Brian O’Leary, superintendent of the Seven Oaks School Division.
“We are aiming at the generation of Filipinos who wants to recapture their own language by offering a language bilingual program as part of the curriculum; and by providing a conducive learning environment.” O’Leary said.
It is a known fact that the 1st generation of Filipinos knew how to communicate and understand the Filipino language, as compared with the 2nd generation who understands but has troubles to speak the language. And the 3rd generation has no knowledge about the parent’s native tongue.
The bilingual program will be held at Arthur Wright Elementary School and with a component of 50% in Filipino and 50% in English with social studies focusing on the history, culture and heritage of the Filipinos.
“We do need the necessary numbers to make it as a viable program in our division,” added by O’Leary.
The Filipino language bilingual program was conceived by Socorro Juan when she was a member of the school trustees and with the help of another trustee, the late Ric de la Cruz. They pursued relentlessly to have a bilingual program which will retain and sustain the mother tongue.
“I have the passion to advocate the Filipino bilingualism in the mid-70’s when I was one of the representatives from the Filipino community in the Manitoba Association for the Promotion of Ancestral Language (MAPAL) in the early 70’s,” Cory Juan said. “Yes, I have a dream to have a bilingual immersion program.”
Cory Juan has been inspired by what our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal said about our native language: “Ang hindi magmahal sa sariliwng wika ay mahigit pa sa malansang Isda”. (“Anyone who does not love his own native language is more than the smell of a rotting fish.”)
And Ms Juan believes on what Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “Everyone is an insider. There is no outsider. Whatever their beliefs, whatever their colors, gender.”
“If we advocate, we will be able to achieve our passion,” added Mrs. Juan.
A meeting with the Filipino families, especially the parents, will be held on March 22, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Maples Collegiate Commons, Jefferson Ave, to support the Filipino Language Bilingual Program of the Seven Oaks School Division.