The Use of English as the Sole Medium of Instructions in Philippine Schools sign now

Dear President Arroyo and members of the Philippine Legislature,

We are asking you to reconsider making English the sole medium of instruction in the schools in the Philippines. As Filipinos abroad, we understand the importance of bilingualism, but also believe in the value of communication using one's mother tongue. In the United States, we have witnessed the growing interest in the Filipino language. There are Filipinos and Filipino-Americans here who are trying to understand the Filipino culture through learning the language. We strongly believe that language is culture, and if we lose our language, we lose our culture.

Although the 2005 Census indicates Tagalog as the 4th most prevalant language spoken in U.S. households, there is still a high demand for Filipino language classes. Research and surveys prove that the Filipino language is important to understanding one's culture and for communication between generations. Universities, high schools, and middle schools have also seen this importance, and thus, offer Filipino language classes and study abroad programs allowing students to return back to their parents' or grandparents' homeland.

To date, there are about 50 U.S. universities, colleges and high schools teaching Filipino. If the Philippines take the direction of losing Filipino as one of the media of instructions in the educational system, it will signal the demise of courses geared towards the definition of Filipino national identity and culture in the U.S. It will also impact decisions of many school administrators to slash programs for Filipino and Philippine literature so they can transfer the funds to other projects (there is always this competition amongst languages in the schools).

As students, educators, leaders, and allies of the Filipino community, we see the importance of both languages and encourage Filipino to continue being used as a medium of instruction in school. We see the language as vital in understanding the Philippine culture and preserving family ties. We ask you to reconsider the Legislature's decision in hopes of maintaining the Filipino language in education worldwide.

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    Language holds important and beautiful windows into a culture. Please don't work towards the death of a language. Thank you.
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    Don't succumb to Western conformity at the expense of our national culture! Fil-Ams here fight to have Tagalog taught in schools. Oust GMA! Stop the political killings!
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Claudia JonesBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Philippine Legislature

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